Page 1

Vol. 9 No. 84

Thursday, December 6, 2012

. . . putting the people first

Gowon canvasses electoral college for 2015 >> PAGE 3

Nigeria now 35th most corrupt country – TI >> PAGE 3

Al-Muharram 22, 1434 AH


FG dares Nigerians, Says no going back on Banquet Hall >> PAGE 8

Power tussle rocks NNDC By Abubakar Ibrahim & Aminu Imam


he appointment of a substantive Group Managing Director for the New Nigerian Development Corporation (NNDC) has pitched its top management staff and the Board on a collision course. As a result, the 19 northern state governors, owners of the postcolonial and regional economic organization bequeathed by the late Premier, Sir Ahmadu Bello, have been forced to intervene in resolving the crisis. According to a reliable source, who prefers anonymity, the quest to reorganise NNDC arose from its dwindling fortunes owing to “incompetent management and corruption”. The source revealed that the defunct Northern Nigeria government’s outfit had been declining since the last two decades and “worsened since the passing of the erudite late Alhaji Aliyu Alkali, the then GMD who had started steering the Corporation on the path of progress once again”. Contd on Page 2


4th Dec., 2012


BUYING 154.76 246.91 197.25 0.2831 41

SELLING 155.76 248.51 200.54 0.3031 41.5


BUYING 207 255 42 157

SELLING 209 256 44 158

L-R: Chairman, The Infrastructure Bank Plc, Alhaji Lamis Dikko and Managing Director, Mr. Abdulrazaq Oyinloye, signing documents during the completion board meeting of the bank, yesterday in Abuja.

Senate accuses Works minister of bias in roads allocation By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


embers of the Senate Committee on Works yesterday attacked the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, for allegedly

favoring some states of the federation in the allocation of roads for construction and maintenance in the 2013 budget, threatening not to pass the budget if the anomaly is not reversed. During the 2013 budget

defence yesterday by the Minister of Works, it was discovered by the senators that Enugu state, where both the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Works, Ayogu Ezeh, and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekwerenmadu,

come from, had 25 federal roads allocated to it, while some other states got 30 roads designated to them. The senators were appalled that all other states in the South Contd on Page 2























No bank is unsound, says NDIC T

he Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has debunked reports that it said only five commercial banks in the country were healthy. This is just as it announced that more interest free banks have been licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to operate alongside JAIZ bank. Debunking the reported ill health of banks, the NDIC instead said its 2011 report rather showed that all the banks in the country were at different levels of health but none was categorised as unsound. NDIC Managing Director, Umaru Ibrahim, who made this clarification at a forum with

newspaper editors in Lagos yesterday said the corporation, in determining the soundness of the banks, categorised them into five levels of soundness namely “Avery sound; B-sound; Csatisfactory; D-marginal and Eunsound”. He clarified the evaluation of the performance in the year ending December 31, 2011 showed that five banks were sound (category B), 13 were satisfactory (category C), and two were marginal (category D). Stating that no bank was in category A (very sound) or in E (unsound), Ibrahim said at no time did the NDIC said only five banks were healthy. He said the banking industry is dynamic and subject to changes even as he indicated that the

performance index in 2012 show levels of improvement. He said the banking industry total asset profile has recorded an increase from N18.20 trillion in December 2011 to N19.19 trillion as at September, 2012. However, deposit liability has moved from N12.3 trillion to N13.14 trillion within the same period. On the delay in the payment of insured deposits to depositors of failed bank, Ibrahim said the NDIC was following due process in the liquidation exercise and assured that all is being done to protect the interest of depositors. On payments to depositors in failed micro-finance banks, the NDIC boss said the corporation has as at September 2012 paid out a total of N2.45 billion as against N2.25 billion

in 2011 ending. He said the NDIC has scaled up its monitoring and supervision activities in collaboration with the CBN adding that close examination of the operations of Islamic JAIZ bank showed that the non interest bank is doing well. He said already the CBN has licensed another three banks interested in non-interest banking in Nigeria. On the state of Societe Generale bank, which license was restored recently, the NDIC chief said the bank has been approved to operate as a regional bank under the name of Heritage Bank. On Savannah bank, he assured that the NDIC is doing its best to ensure that depositors were paid and that the bank returned to business.

Contd from Page 1 “In the past two years since the demise of Aliyu Alkali, the current Chairman NNDC, Prof Halidu Abubakar- a lecturer at ABU Zaria, and the Acting GMD, Alhaji Ahmed Musa, had allegedly connived to further run the NNDC aground, to the extent that the Corporation is hardly heard of outside the confines of its head office in Kaduna”. In order to breathe some fresh air into the NNDC and revive it, the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) under the leadership of the chief servant of Niger State, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, took certain actions with a view to instilling a professional and competent management, after which some good money running into billions of naira would be pumped into the NNDC to get it going”, he said. To effectively rejuvenate the NNDC, the northern governors though it wise to detach themselves from the choice of candidates for the various positions especially the GMD, thereby prompting the chairman of NGF, Dr. Babangida Aliyu to order the enlistment of a reputable consultant to advertise the positions in newspapers, shortlist and interview selected

candidates. “Accordingly, the NNDC Board carried out the instruction by contracting Philips Consulting with headquarters in Lagos and a regional office in Abuja. Philips Consulting advertised the vacant positions in a few Nigerian newspapers including the PUNCH. Eventually, Philips Consulting shortlisted and interviewed candidates from 3rd September, 2012”. About two weeks after the interview, Philips Consulting wrote its Report and recommendations for the candidate to fill the post of Group Managing Director, and one candidate each for the three posts of Executive Directors. The report established that the Acting GMD came third in the interview. However, the source said, the NNDC Chairman and the Acting GMD were colluding to bypass the recommendations of the consultants by coercing the Establishment Committee of the Board into recommending the Acting GMD confirmation as substantive GMD . ”As expected, most of the members of the Committee kicked against such a move as very

illogical, since the Acting came third in the interview”. Therefore, the said Establishment Committee’s meeting of 29th November rose in confusion. It was decided that the full NNDC Board (made up of the Secretary to the State Government of each of the 19 northern states, the Chairman and the Acting GMD) should decide on the Consultant’s Report and Recommendations. Accordingly, the full NNDC Board met at the Corporation’s Head Office in Kaduna, on Friday, November 30. According to a highly reliable insider information, the Chairman of the Board, Prof Halidu Abubakar (on behalf of the Acting GMD, Alhaji Ahmed Musa) tried to convince the meeting that Alhaji Ahmed Musa, who had been acting for about two years, and who came third in the Consultant’s interview, should be recommended to be appointed as the GMD of NNDC. At that juncture, all hell broke loose as majority of the Board members disagreed. In spite of the development, Prof Halidu Abubakar, adamantly maintained his illogical stance. He was said to have used his powers of being the

only one who can officially send a memo to the Northern Governors Forum… recommending the Acting… GMD to be appointed as the substantive GMD”. However, he said, other Board members who are in the majority, had vowed to write a counter Report to the Northern Governors Forum. “It is understood that the NGF will soon fix a date for the meeting during which they will approve the appointment of a new GMD and three GEDs for the NNDC”, he said. When contacted on the allegations, Malam Tukur Sale of the Corporate Affairs Department of the Corporation said the issues should have been raised at the just concluded AGM of the NNDC last week. He promised to revert back to our correspondent but he never did as at press time last night. When contacted, Danladi Ndayebo, the Chief Press Secretary to the Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu,who is the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, confirmed the allegations saying they are true, but declined to elaborate. However, he said, all the issues raised by our source, would be addressed at the next Northern States Governors Forum.

Contd from Page 1 East got six roads altogether for construction, even as some state in the north did not get any road allocated to it. This is coming on the heels of previous allegation raised by Senator Itah Enang, that the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), a parastatal under Onolememen, favoured mostly Enugu state in the allocation of roads for construction and maintenance. Based on this, the senators warned that road construction deserves to be equitably done, insisting that there must be adequate spread of roads in the states of the federation for fairness and equity. According to the document which was made available by the Ministry of Works to the

lawmakers, one road was allocated to Anambra state, two roads to Abia, two to Ebonyi, while Imo state has three roads and Enugu state 25 roads. In his remarks on the issue, the Deputy chairman of the Committee, Bashir Mohammed, who represented the Chairman asked FERMA Managing Director, G. C. Amuchi, if he has a guideline that will help him ensure that there is equitable distribution in the design and allocation of road across the states and six geopolitical zones. He observed that most states and zones are crying over lack of FERMA’s presence in their area, adding that every state deserves fair shear in road allocation. The senators also queried the Minister to explain why some

states which had some ongoing projects are omitted in the 2013 budget, wondering if those ongoing projects would be left till further notice or abandoned. Responding to the accusation, the Minister said that he will look into the issue and report back to the lawmakers, explaining that his Director for Road Design made him to believe that those roads are constituency projects. He however, pointed out that the new policy by President Goodluck Jonathan, prohibits the Ministry from initiating new road projects, insisting that the bulk of the funds allocated to the ministry in the 2013 budget will be deployed to ongoing projects of core and economically relevant federal roads which transverse the all the states of the federation.

Meanwhile, according to the Minister, in the 2013 budget proposal, a total of N183 billion, 504 million, 316 thousand naira was appropriated to the ministry, out of which N151 billion, 250 million is for capital expenditure, and N24 billion, 411 million, 865 thousand for overhead expenditure, while personnel will take a total of N7 billion, 842 million, 450 thousand. He also said that in the 2012 budget, a total of N199 billion, 032 million, 816 thousand, was appropriated to it, out of which N159 billion, 463 million, 529 thousand is for capital project, overhead took N32 billion, 578 million, 924 thousand and personnel got N6 billion, 990 million, 362 thousand.

By Richard Ihediwa

Power tussle rocks NNDC

Corruption: Forcing out the sit-tight officials, Page 4











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Senate accuses Works minister of bias in roads allocation



Kano police refute attack on luxury bus From Edwin Olofu, Kano


he Kano state Command Nigeria Police has denied reports in some section of the media that an improvised device (IEDS) were thrown at a moving Luxurious Bus coming in to Kano by unknown attackers on Tuesday evening. A statement made available to newsmen by the command,

R-L: Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, and former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), during Atiku’s condolence visit to General Buhari, on over the death of his eldest daughter, yesterday in Kaduna.

Minanuel Estate: Aggrieved subscribers drag FCT Minister before CJN By Sunday Ejike Benjamin

S Nigeria now 35th most corrupt country, says TI’s latest rankings N By Aminu Imam

igeria now ranks 35 in the global corruption index, according to a 2012 report by Transparency International (TI) on global corruption. President Goodluck Jonathan had earlier in the year erroneously quoted the TI rankings to be showing the country in favourable light as far as the fight against corruption

Shettima swears-in seven perm secs From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


overnor Kashim Shettima of Borno, yesterday, swore-in seven newly appointed permanent secretaries, with a call on them to justify their appointments by being just and prudent. Shettima said their appointments were based on the provisions of the 1999 Constitution. Shettima explained that the appointment was aimed at reinvigorating the service by bring in fresh ideas. He pointed out that that the appointees were selected based on their track record in the civil service and urged them to live up to the expectations. The new officials included a onetime chairman of the Borno chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Alhaji Mohammed Terab. Others are Alhaji Alkali Bulama, Alhaji Shettima Marte, Alhaji Sani Medugu, Mrs. Ladi Bappa, Alhaji Mohammed Kauji and Alhaji Abba Sadiq.

was concerned. But, in the report which was released yesterday, Nigeria scored 27 out of a maximum 100 marks to clinch the 139th position out of the 176 countries surveyed for the report. It shared that position with Azerbaijan, Kenya, Nepal and Pakistan. Countries such as Togo, Mali, Niger and Benin fared better than Nigeria. It would be recalled that Nigeria placed 143rd in the 2011 ranking,

making it the 37th most corrupt country. However, when compared with this year’s result, it is difficult to say whether Nigeria has recorded any improvement because 182 countries, six more than this year’s, were ranked in 2011. This year’s index ranks 176 countries/territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. The index draws on 13 surveys covering expert assessments and surveys of business people.

Briton bags seven years jail over Nigeria-China arms deal


n arms dealer from Yorkshire who helped ship thousands of AK47 assault rifles and millions of rounds of ammunition from China to Nigeria has been jailed for seven years. Gary Hyde, 43, looked tearful as he was sentenced at London’s Southwark Crown Court following his conviction for two counts of breaching UK trade controls and concealing criminal property. Hyde, of Mask Lane, Newton on Derwent, near York, moved the weapons without a licence and hid more than one million US dollars (£620,460) in commission payments. The deal between the two countries’ governments was lawful, but Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said middleman Hyde was caught out by his own greed. He failed to apply for a licence to take part in the deal, fearing it would be refused, but was attracted by the “enormous profits” to be made, the judge said. Hyde, who was supported in court by his family, legitimately ran and expanded wholesale business York Guns to the point

where it employed 20 staff in 2003. He helped broker various arms deals including some for the British Government. But in 2006 he got involved in the deal between China and Nigeria which saw up to 40,000 AK47s, 30,000 rifles and 10,000 9mm pistols go to the African nation along with 32 million rounds of ammunition. Hyde was convicted after a retrial on two counts of becoming knowingly concerned in the movement of controlled goods between March 2006 and December 2007. He was also found guilty of one count of concealing criminal property between March 2006 and December 2008 after he hid the profits in a bank in Liechtenstein. Hyde, who was of previous good character and served as a special constable for seven years, was also reluctant to apply for a licence lest the UK authorities discover his tax haven account and his “very substantial earnings”, the judge said.

said the tyre of the bus burst while in motion which resulted to a heavy bang that caused panic in the area. There was commotion and pandemonium, Tuesday, as heavy sound was heard around Zaria road with spreading reports that a bomb was thrown at moving luxury bus at about 7.30pm.

ubscribers of the demolished Minanuel Estate in Abuja have dragged the Minister for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed before the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mariam Aloma Muktar and the president of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Okey Wali over alleged attempts to over reach the Abuja High Court adjudicating on the matter. They specifically accused the minister of making statements that are contemptuous in nature and portraying the court as helpless on the subject matter before it. They were making reference to the statement made in court by counsel to the minister, Chief Joe Kyari-Gadzama, that the court was helpless because the act of demolition of the 372 housing units which is the fulcrum of their case has already been concluded. Minanuel Estate had headed to the court with a N5 billion suit

against the FCT Minister, over the demolition of 372 housing units belonging to the developer, Minanuel Investment Limited between September 29 and October 2, 2012. Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana, who is acting on behalf of the estate developer, prayed the court to compel the minister to pay N5 billion as special and general damages for the illegal demolition of the housing estate. However, when the matter came up for hearing on November 29, 2012, counsel to the respondents, Gadzama submitted that Minanuel did not possess a legal title to claim ownership of the property adding that all the plots in the estate have been reallocated to their rightful title holders. Worried by this statement, subscribes of the estate in a statement by their spokesperson, Barrister Festus Adebayo condemned the position of the minister saying it was capable of frustrating the subject matter in court.

Gowon canvasses electoral college for 2015 From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


ormer Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, has canvassed the introduction of electoral college platform for the 2015 presidential election. Gowon spoke yesterday in a message he sent during a conference on the, “North and Strategies for Sustainable Development”, organised in Kaduna by the Arewa House Centre for Historical Documentation and Research, of the Ahmadu Bello University. The programme attracted other prominent leaders from the north including, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former governors of Kano state, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau; Kebbi state, Sen. Adamu Aliero; former ministers of Police Affairs, Alhaji Adamu Maina Waziri; and FCT, Alhaji Aliyu

Modibbo Umar, among others. Senator Umaru Dahiru represented the Senate President, David Mark. Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) chairman, Alhaji Aliko Mohammed, who represented Gowon, urged Nigerians to stop the current agitation for the creation of more states. He said: “I met with the Senate caucus of the North in Abuja last week and I asked them to reconsider the introduction of electoral college in electing the president in 2015”. In his address, Kaduna state Governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, regretted that prevailing security challenges in the north have tended to scare potential investors from exploiting abundant opportunities in the area. According to him, “we have enormous potentials in agriculture, solid minerals and tourism that need to be tapped.



ecause government officials accused of corrupt acts are rarely denied the benefit of the doubt even in the face of clear guilt, they cling to their seat taking the accusations in their strides and continue as if they do not have any care in the world. Until the powers-thatbe want it otherwise. And here lies the Achilles’ Heels of our anti graft agencies, which remain only as effective as the government wants them to be. One would have expected that by now, two heads would have fallen in President Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet following petitions to the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) against two ministers for corruption. Two weeks ago, the AntiCorruption Network, led by former member of the House of Representatives Dino Melaye, wrote to the ICPC chairman accusing the new Power Minister, Godsday Orubebe of corruption and abuse of office. In a complaint dated 19 November, the group said that Mr. Orubebe, erstwhile Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, accepted a palatial mansion in Abuja, FCT, as gratification in contravention of Section 12 of the ICPC Act. Part of the petition reads: “It has become an adverse trend in our polity where public office holders under the guise of administrative functions illegally divert funds, contracts and even take benefits/ gratifications in the award of contracts to companies whose promise of a reward is highest contrary to Sections 12, 13, 14, 20, 22 and 25 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, Cap. C31, LFN 2010(hereinafter referred to as the Act).” The group stressed that, “We are not unmindful of the legal implications of this Petition, and in this regard we humbly require your humble self to critically look into this Petition and the facts enunciated therein in order to take further and necessary actions as contained under Sections 30 & 31 of the Act in the prosecution of all parties who have been privy to this illegal transaction.” And two days ago, the same group accused the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, of “defrauding the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” asking him to immediately resign from his position as minister. In a statement to the media, the Anti-Corruption Network alleged that Pinnacle contractors Limited, until July this year owned by Chief Emeka Wogu and his family, had fraudulently received N2.7 billion in the fuel subsidy scam. The Labour Minister, who is also the Chairman of the White Paper Committee on the Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenue Task Force Committee, had at the height of January’s protests against the removal of fuel subsidy infamously declared that “we don’t have to explain to the people we rule.” In calling for his head, the

Corruption: Forcing out the sit-tight officials In decent societies where reputation and Name count for everything, office holders do not hesitate to resign from their position, no matter how high or lucrative, as soon as there is as much as a hint that their integrity might be put to question. But in Nigeria, office holders found seriously wanting, often cling to their position until they are ignobly shown the gate, writes Abdu Labaran Malumfashi. group said that, “It is shameful and disgraceful that the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu heading the white paper Committee on the Ribadu led petroleum Revenue special task force has now been indicted in the illegal payment of N2.7 billion to a company for fuel that was never supplied. He cannot be a judge in his own case”. Although both ministers have of course, denied the allegations, and would in any case never muster the decency to willingly throw in the towel, calls for their sack have expectedly continued with the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) and human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) in the vanguard. In calling for the sack of the Labour Minister and his Power counterpart, Chief Emeka Wogu and Mr. Godspower Orubebe respectively, CNPP maintained that they had to go immediately “having compromised in the discharge of their duties as public officers”. In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, the CNPP threatened to drag the two ministers to the Code of Conduct Tribunal and other relevant agencies in the event they fail to voluntarily resign. “CNPP was outraged the day the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, announced to the whole world that one of the companies involved in defrauding the Nigerian state of N2.5 trillion in the 2011 fuel subsidy scam collected N2.7 billion and went into thin air; little did we know that Pinnacle Contractors Ltd is the family company of Chief Emeka Wogu, Minister of Labour and Productivity, until he owned up. “Investigations revealed that the vessel listed by Pinnacle Contractors Ltd to collect the first tranche of N1.2 billion was not on Nigerian shores on the date of the fathom fuel delivery, just as the Vessel listed for the second tranche of N1.5 billion was moribund, which simply means that Wogu and his family defrauded Nigerians of N2.7 billion,” the statement noted. CNPP wondered how the Minister of Labour and Productivity could provide employment and productivity when he “descends into the arena to fleece the state of its meager resources, which could have been used to create

EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde employment.” Of the Power Minister, the opposition political parties said asserted that the cost of the mansion built for him at Jabi in Abuja, by Setraco Limited was enough to construct 100 kilometre of the East-West Road, which has become a shame on the President Jonathan’s administration. In a statement, the human rights lawyer noted that leaving Wogu to continue to head the committee would amount to making him a judge in his own cause, urging President Jonathan to remove Wogu from the cabinet without any further delay “since a minister was recently forced to resign from the Federal Government Cabinet due to conflict of interest”. Part of Falana’s statement reads: “In his recent media chat President Jonathan reiterated the resolve of his administration to fight the unprecedented rot in the petroleum industry. “In particular, President Jonathan undertook to implement the reports of the various committees that probed

the oil industry once the white papers on them are issued by the Federal Government. “To assure the nation of the determination of the administration in prosecuting the war against corruption, more suspects have been charged to court in connection with the fuel subsidy scam. “However, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Wogu who is heading the white paper committee on the Nuhu Ribaduled Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force (PRSTF) has been indicted in the illegal payment of N2.7 billion to a company for fuel that was never supplied. “As he cannot be a judge in his own cause, Wogu should be removed from the white paper committee forthwith. “More so, that Dr Reuben Abati and Doyin Okupe and the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources have given the impression that the report of the PRSTF would be swept under the carpet. “Since a minister was recently forced to resign from the Federal Government Cabinet

due to “conflict of interest” President Jonathan should not hesitate to remove Wogu from the cabinet without any further delay. “It has also been confirmed that while the PRSTF was carrying out its assignment Messrs Steve Oronsanye and Ben Otti were appointed into the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Although President Jonathan has denied the imputation that the appointment was designed to bribe and compromise Messrs Oronsanye and Otti, it is illegal, null and void as it violates sections 2 & 3 of the NNPC Act which provide that the NNPC shall have six members and an alternate Chairmen. “Specifically, the Board shall consist of the Petroleum Minister who shall be the Chairman, the Managing Director of the NNPC, three persons appointed by the President and an alternate chairman. “Instead of the seven members the NNPC has nine members with the appointment of Messrs Oronsanye and Otti. “Since the NNPC Act has not been amended to validate the increase in the membership of the board Messrs Oronsanye and Otti should be removed there from. In view of the serious implications of the illegal appointment on the activities of the NNPC and the national economy the Federal Government should fire the duo as soon as possible. “However, if both of them in are retained in the NNPC Board in contravention of the law the Federal Government should be prepared to defend the illegal appointment at the Federal High Court not later than December 31, 2012.” Sit-tightism is an all too familiar scenario on these shores among officials whose integrity has come under serious questioning. Evidence abounds everywhere, especially in the First and Second Estate of the Realm. All patriotic Nigerians need to team up with the anti corruption groups and their like to force such elements out of the public spaces they occupy until they are able to clear their names from all and any allegations of abuse of office and other improprieties against them. Let us start going out on the streets in peaceful protest to demonstrate our seriousness that we want clean the Augean Stable of corruption that Nigeria has become.



Maiduguri residents accuse JTF of burning houses, tricycles, vehicles From Mustapa Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri

…as NSGF delegation visits

esidents of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, have accused the Joint Military Task Force, (JTF) of burning 20 shops, 10 vehicles and 40 tricycles, after a gun duel with insurgents. Some residents of Baga and Ibrahim Taiwo roads, who spoke to our correspondent yesterday, alleged that the JTF operatives visited their anger on innocent civilians, after an encounter with some gunmen on Tuesday morning. The affected persons, who declined identification said after the confrontation, over 30 soldiers

went on rampage, setting ablaze their belongings. They also alleged that as part of their desperate moves to apprehend the fleeing insurgents, the security agents subjected innocent citizens to arbitrary arrests and torture. The people called on the state government to intervene into the matter in order to curb recurrence. Our correspondent also reported that business activities were crippled in the areas yesterday as shops and markets were shut down.


Spokesman of the JTF, Lt- Col. Sagir Musa could not be reached for comment as at press time. Meanwhile, a high-powered committee set up by Northern Governors Forum, (NGF) to find solutions to the security problem in the North, yesterday, visited Maiduguri. The chairman of the committee, Air Vice Marshal Mukhtari Muhammad (rtd), who led others to Borno Government House, said they were in the state to access the extent of damages caused by the gun battle between insurgents and security forces.

HIV: Oyo tasks stakeholders on combating stigma From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


yo state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, has charged all stakeholders to join hands in combating the stigmatisation and discrimination against HIV/ AIDS patients. Gbadegesin who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Oluwafemi Akanmu, gave the charge at Supreme Management Centre Hall, Bodija, Ibadan during the interschools’ debate organised by Aids Prevention Initiative of Nigeria (APIN) in commemoration of World Aids Day, 2012. According to the commissioner, the diagnosis and treatment for HIV and AIDS is free in government established health centres in the state.

He added that any confirmed pregnant woman with HIV and AIDS are treated free during antenatal care so as to reduce mother-to-child transmission. He noted that the Ministry of Health in collaboration with APIN, is in the process of scaling up HIV counseling and testing services in all the 33 local government areas of the state. He stressed that the ministry in collaboration with development partners would offer free treatment at some patronised private health centres across the state. In his remark, the Satellite Coordinator of Aids Prevention Initiative of Nigeria, Dr. Babatunde Akinyemi who was represented by Mrs. Bola Thompson, thanked the Oyo state government and Ministry of Health for giving them conducive environment to operate in the state.

Nigeria loses millions of jobs to Chinese, says Rep From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


R-L: Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Head of Service, Malam Isa Bello Sali, and Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Dana still barred from flying, says NCAA From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


t was a dramatic scenario yesterday inside the conference room of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Annex in Ikeja as the Director-General of NCAA Dr. Harold Demuren and Managing Director of Dana airline, Jacky Hathiramani, engaged each other in a prolonged argument over the resumption of flight operations by Dana Air whose operations were stopped when one of its planes crash landed on the 3rd of June 2012 killing all passengers on board and scores of others on the ground. The occasion which was called to formally hand over the Air Operating Certificate (AOC) to Dana by the regulatory authority, however turned out to be a disappointing one for the airline whose officials had arrived the venue with optimism that they will be allowed to fly any moment. Trouble began moment after the DG handed the AOC to the Dana MD as he asked if the airline has begun the

payment the outstanding $70, 000 being balance for the crash victims’ families who had earlier collected the statutory $30, 000 from the airline being insurance claims for any dead victim aboard an aircraft. The NCAA helmsman expressed his disappointment at the inability of the airline to commence the payment which Dana attribute to delays in processing legal document for the five families who had gone

through the rigour of documentation. A visibly angry Demuren said. “There is no going back on this, you must show evidence of payment of the remaining $70, 000 to these families before you can resume flight operations”. Dana MD, Jacky told the agency that the approved five families will receive their payment before the end of December.

he House of Representatives chairman on Local Content Committee, Asita Honourable, has disclosed that Nigeria has lost millions of jobs to Chinese citizens in the rehabilitation of the railway system. Honourable who stated this in Ilorin during a workshop by the Nigerian Content Committee of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) entitled: “Nigerian Content Development: The Past, Present and Future, jointly organised by NSE and Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), said many indigenous contractors would have been beneficiaries. Speaking on Ajaokuta Steel Mill, Honourable said: “in the House of Representatives we have been discussing the issue of Ajaokuta Steel Complex, but today I decided to challenge the Nigerian Society of Engineers to campaign for resuscitation of the steel company.

Some of the items in the Act stipulate that we need a steel company in Nigeria if not we will continue import steel materials. One of the ways is to ensure there are steel mills in Nigeria. “My anger is in the transport sector where we have to contract the rehabilitation of the Nigerian rail system to a Chinese firm. By that contract alone we have exported millions of jobs that should have been done by Nigerians, millions of training opportunities and several thousands of ancillary businesses that would service them”. The legislator also challenged Nigerian engineers to come up with similar benchmarks for the extension of the local content law to other sectors of the country’s economy. Earlier, the chairman of the content committee of NSE, Chris Okoye, said NSE had been in the vanguard of the quest for the extension of the local content policy to other sectors of the economy.

Rep implores FG over Lagos’ $600m World Bank loan By Umar Muhammad Puma


member of the House of Representatives Michael Ogunnusi (ACN Lagos), has said the Federal Government should not politicise the issue of the $600 million World Bank Loan meant for Lagos State and should ensure that it is included in the 2013 budget. The lawmaker who spoke with reporters at the National Assembly yesterday, expressed surprise that the loan was not

included in the borrowing plan of the Federal Government for the 2013 budget. Ogunnusi said he could not see how the Federal Government, which gave loans of $40 million to Ghana and $5 million to São Tomé some years ago could frustrate Lagos state in its bid to obtain the World Bank loans for developmental purposes. He said: “Our collective responsibility is that we must improve on the standard of living of our people, generate

employment and create wealth. But when a state is denied access to loan where all these can be achieved, then it is the undoing of the Federal Government. The lawmaker noted that Lagos has a history of performance and credibility when it comes to loans, adding that former governor, Bola Tinubu obtained a loan for the development of the state which he paid back. “Are we playing politics with the standard of living of our people, are we playing politics

with employment, is it not when there is money that you can meet the aspiration of your people,” Ogunnusi asked. It would be recalled that the Governor Babatunde Fashola was at the National Assembly to make a case for the approval of the $200 second tranche of the $600 million World Bank Development Policy Operation (DPO) budget support loans for Lagos state as well as its inclusion in the 2013 borrowing plan of the Federal Government.


By Abdulwahab Isa


o fewer than 50 trailer-loads of Nigeria's Shea butter are smuggled daily through porous borders to the neighbouring countries costing nation close to $2.166 billion annually. The activities of smugglers specialising in Shea butter is causing the country huge financial fortune. This revelation was made yesterday in Abuja by the Director-General, Niger state Commodity and Export Promotion Agency, Alhaji Mohammed Ahmed Kontagora at the pre-conference press briefing by the Global Shea Alliance in Abuja. He said Nigeria produces at least 57 percent of the world supply of Shea with its accompanying derivatives with a global annual value of US$3.8 billion but loses most of the financial benefits that should come to the country as a result of the smuggling of the produce. According to him, at least 50 trailers carrying Shea butter and


Nigeria loses $2.166bn Shea butter annually to smugglers its derivatives cross the Nigerian border daily to Benin Republic from Niger state alone, while the Nigeria Customs Service appears unable to check the smuggling activities. He tasked the relevant authorities to develop large scale production of Shea in Nigeria, as according to him, the nation will be on the right part to diversifying the economy because Shea butter and it's derivatives has a very large market in Nigeria alone as well as in other parts of the world. Kontagora revealed that a part of the opportunity open to Nigeria to benefit from production of Shea, is the recent directive by the European Union that five percent of

Shea must be added to all confectionaries particularly chocolate in the zone. Towards this end, he appealed to the Nigerian Customs Service to do more to stop the smuggling of Shea products across the borders so that the country can reap the maximum benefit of the international trade of the produce. Kontagora said the Shea industry in Nigeria is on the part of growth with Nigeria having the potential to mechanically process 6,000 SETs per year; export 50,000 tonnes of Shea nuts per year; new processing plants are being constructed every year, while existing ones are being renovated to increase capacity and efficiency. The president of the Global Shea

Alliance, Eugenia Akuete, disclosed that more than 15 million women across West Africa participate directly in the Shea industry, and women collect nuts across the Savannah area stretching from Senegal to Uganda and South Sudan. She added that for every $1 of Shea exported, local villages receive an additional 50 percent of income while millions of women make Shea butter that millions more West Africans consume daily in food and skin care products. The world conference on Shea which will be held in Nigeria next year is designed to bring together all stakeholders in the production and processing of Shea to network and develop mutually beneficial business connections.

L-R: Director, Nigerian National Volunteers Service Department, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Amina Abdullahi, Country Director of VSO, Sriramappa Gonchikara and Second Secretary Development, Lisa Demor, during the 2012 International Volunteers Day commemoration, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Nasarawa varsity inaugurates c'ttee for environmental studies From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


joint committee set up to fine-tune modalities for establishing a Centre for Environmental Studies (CES) at the Nasarawa State University Keffi (NSUK), was recently inaugurated by the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Shamsudeen Amali. At the ceremony which held in the senate chambers of the institution, Prof. Amali

charged members of the committee made up of the institution's CES committee and that of Health Service Providers Association of Nigeria (HSPAN), to work hard towards setting up one of the best centres for environmental studies in the country, stressing that the university is ready to partner with any group to develop the centre. He said it has become necessary to establish the CES

considering trends regarding the issue of climate change and environmental degradation, adding that when functional, the centre will seek to address issues of the environment. Commenting on the issue, chairman of the university's CES committee, Prof. Uzodinma Iwala, said the joint committee is expected to swing into action to bring out programmes of training for members of HSPAN. He stated that the CES is a

joint initiative between NSUK and HSPAN. On his part, leader of the HSPAN delegation, Mr. Emmanuel Chukwuocha, described the initiative as a bold step in the right direction, stressing that the issue of environment is complex and a playing field for all professionals, with HSPAN determined to give NSUK the best in terms of quality training for members of the association.

Commissioner confirms outbreak of 'strange disease' in Mubi


he Commissioner for Health in Adamawa state, Mrs. Lilian Stephen, yesterday confirmed the outbreak of "a strange disease" Mubi south local government area of the state. Stephen told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yola that the sample had been taken to the laboratory. She, however, did not confirm whether anybody was killed or hospitalised by the strange d i s e a s e . Meanwhile, five people have been reported dead and 70 others hospitalised, following the outbreak of strange disease in Saranyi Village in Mubi south local government area of Adamawa state. Alhaji Usman Lamorde, the member representing the constituency in the House of Assembly, made this known yesterday at the plenary of the House. Lamorde, who raised the issue under 'Matters of Urgent Public Importance',said no fewer than 200 people were affected with five dead, while 70 were hospitalised. "Up till now, nobody knows what this disease is all about except that my people in Nduku ward of Saranyi village are victims. "Something urgent needs to be done by the authorities concerned, to check the outbreak from further spreading", Lamorde said. Lamorde, also explained that the outbreak started four days ago. In his contribution, the Deputy Speaker of the house, Mr. Kwamoti Laori, said the matter was a serious one and urgent steps needed to be taken to address the matter. The Speaker, Alhaji Ahmadu Fintiri, who read the resolution of the house, urged the Ministry of Health and the House Committee on Health to mobilise health personnel to address the situation. (NAN)

C&S wants Christians, Muslims to fight crimes, terrorism From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church (CSMC), Yandoka-Bauchi, has enjoined members of the two major religions (Christianity and Islam) in the country to come together and take pragmatic steps aimed at putting an end to the present and unnecessary

killings of innocent people, particularly in some parts of the northern Nigeria. Speaking during the 2012 Harvest Thanksgiving Service of the church, the chairman, 2010-2012 harvest committee of the church, Most Senior Apostle Segun Awofadeji, said: "We are using this harvest which theme is Harvest of Progress to call on

all Christians and Muslims across the nation to join hands and reinforce their supplication..." According to him, "Nigerians must now realise that the issue of security to lives and property of the citizenry is a collective responsibility of all and sundry, and not that of the army, police and other

security agencies because the army, police, SSS and other arms of our security apparatus are not spirits but human beings like us; so they need our support to succeed in this war against all forms of crimes and criminal activities including terrorism". In his sermon at the occasion, Most Senior Apostle Femi Yemi, condemned the

Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Alhaji Sanusi Lamido for suggesting that the Federal Government should down size its workforce by 50% describing the call "as not only unfortunate and careless statement but an insult to the psyche of the ordinary Nigerian and civil servant who are already passing through hell to survive".


Kwara CJ advocates judicial autonomy From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Chief Judge of Kwara state, Justice Olatunji Ayinla Bamigbola, has advocated fiscal autonomy and proper funding of the judiciary in the country. Justice Bamigbola made the call in Ilorin while answering questions from members of the state House of Assembly during his screening as substantive chief judge of the state. The jurist, who described the judiciary as the platform for good governance in the country, stressed the need for its strengthening through proper funding to make it more responsive to contemporary challenges. He added that the constitution recognises proper funding of the judicial sector noting that the autonomy of the judiciary would enhance quality judgment thereby making it imperative for court judgments to be respected. He explained that quality and good judgment would improve public confidence in the judiciary. Justice Bamigbola who observed that fire brigade approach aggravating prison congestion suggested that all agencies dealing with criminals must be empowered while facilities be provided in the nation’s prisons to make them more reformatory. He promised to embark on renovation and construction of more court rooms and ensure improved conditions of judicial staff to ensure quick dispensation of justice in the state.


Court orders police to produce Indian hemp stubs as exhibits A n Ojokoro Magistrates’ Court in Lagos yesterday asked the police to produce as exhibits the stubs of Indian hemp allegedly smoked by four accused charged before it. The Magistrate, Mrs. F.F Adeeyo gave the order following her discovery of irregularities in the charges on which the accused were arraigned. The accused – Odinaka Okereke, 35; Jimi Agbaji, 30; Saheed Yusuf, 28 and Saheed Biobaku, 32 – were arraigned on charges of unlawful gathering, causing breach of peace and attempting to smoke Indian hemp. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adeeyo noticed the irregularities when the prosecutor, Insp. Lugard Ahonle told the court that the accused were caught smoking

Indian hemp. Ahonle had told the court the four accused men committed the offences on Nov. 30 at Yusuf Road., Kollington Bus Stop, Alagbado Lagos, at 8.00 p.m. This was contrary to the charge which stated that the four accused were arrested while attempting to smoke Indian hemp. The magistrate also challenged the section of the Criminal Code under which the accused were charged. Adeeyo said: “We can’t just keep charging and remanding suspects in prison custody without thoroughly verifying the offence which they are charged with. “Since the police are claiming that the suspects actually smoked the Indian hemp, then they should produce the Indian

hemp in court on Thursday as exhibit”. She, thereafter, ordered the police to take the accused to the station and correct the irregularities in the charge and state the proper sections the offences contravened. The prosecutor said: “The four of them gathered unlawfully to smoke Indian hemp and conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause

Kaduna polls peaceful, orderly, but … – NGO By Jamila Nuhu Musa


non-governmental organisation, CITARNGO has adjudged the just concluded local government elections in

Benue varsity to graduate 2,711 students From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


he Benue State University is to confer bachelor’s degrees on a total of 2,711 students at its 13thconvocation this week. The Vice Chancellor of the institution Prof. Charity Angya who disclosed this yesterday during a pre-convocation press briefing at the senate chamber of the university, said a total of 798 masters degree students will also be graduated. Prof. Angya who also intimated that the university is celebrating its 20 years of existence, outlined activities for the event to include stakeholders’ forum tomorrow and the convocation lecture entitled Amending the 1999 Constitution: Implication and Strategies for Development in Nigeria to be delivered by the Minister for Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, on Friday. She further stated that the university has recorded tremendous improvement in infrastructural development in completion of the ICT complex, erection of two prototype lecture halls on both campuses and a generator hall, adding that several other projects are ongoing in the institution.

L-R: Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri, Ondo state Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, his Deputy, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, and Assistant Corps Marshal of FRSC, Mr. Lukas Kiyan, during the Do the Right Thing - Drive to Stay Alive campaign by NOA in collaboration with FRSC, yesterday in Akure, Ondo State.

Benue Assembly indicts SEMA executive secretary of fraud From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


he Benue State House of Assembly has accused the Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Adikpo Agbatse, of embezzlement of over N27.6 million and called for his immediate removal from office within two weeks. The House made the recommendation at its sitting yesterday following the submission of the standing Committee on Public Accounts which investigated activities of SEMA. Chairman of the committee, Mr. James Ochojila, frowned at the deliberate failure of the executive secretary to give

concrete evidence on how he expended over N27.6 million collected from the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in 2011 for disaster management, noting that a whooping sum of N19, 340,000 was instead used for ‘workshop and training’. Ochojila who represents Ohimini state constituency, also revealed that Agbatse collected another N6, 449, 000 from January to August but could not account for it even as the committee discovered that one Mr. Raphael Nduur, a staff of the agency collected the sum of N1, 300, 000 and failed to give good account of how the amount was used. The report also regretted the

breach of peace”. She said that the police were tipped off on the activities of the group by residents of the area. Ahonle said the offence contravened Section 403 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos state. The accused, however, all pleaded not guilty to the charges. The magistrate thereafter adjourned the case till Dec. 6. (NAN)

continued stay in office of Agbatse for over nine years contrary to the law establishing the agency that allows for only a four-year renewable term for the office. In his ruling on the matter, the Speaker Mr. Terhile Ayua, directed Agbatse and Nduur to refund the sum of N6, 449, 000 and N1, 300, 000 within one week to the coffers of the agency and show evidence to the House. Mr. Ayua recommended that disaster funds for local governments be channeled directly to them. Efforts to get Agbatse’s reaction on the accusation against him failed as he failed to pick his call or reply to text message sent to his phone.

Kaduna state to have been fairly peaceful and orderly just as it observed lapses in the conduct of the polls in some areas in the state. In a statement signed by the CITAR-NGO executive secretary, Muhammad Alhaji Yakubu, the NGO said it deployed 40 of its observers, who visited 35 percent in 20 of the 23 local government areas in the state, and reported that in Zone 1 covering Makarfi, Sabon Gari, Zaria, Kudan, Ikara and Lere LGAs, “election materials arrived fairly late, therefore accreditation started around 10 am,” adding that “voting started around 1pm in most of the LGAs mentioned above. Yakubu also said CITAR-NGO observed shortage of materials in Zaria, especially Yakawada and Gangara wards, adding that “in Turawa ward of Soba local government area, we observed some skirmishes, which was brought under control.” The NGO also reported peaceful elections in Zones 1 and 2 which comprise of Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Giwa, Birnin Gwari, and Chikun as well as Kafanchan, Kachia, Zonkwa and Sanga respectively, saying that youths and women came out enmasse to cast their votes while party agents were all spotted at polling units cooperating with one another. The statement reported the dominance of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state followed by the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) then followed by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). CITAR-NGO, while commending the conduct of security agencies during the elections, also “noted with satisfaction the neutrality exhibited by Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission in the conduct of the election”, and advised the Kaduna state government to train the commission’s staff on provision of logistics in future elections. “On scale of random sampling, we are bold to say relatively that this is one of the best elections conducted so far in terms of transparency and peaceful conduct in the state,” the NGO said.



JTF alleges plots to attack military barracks in Borno From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri, & Edwin Olofu, Kano


he Joint Task Force in Borno state, (JTF) said yesterday that it uncovered plots by suspected members of the Boko Haram sect to attack various military barracks in Maiduguri, the capital city. Spokesman of the JTF, Lt-Col. Sagir Musa, in a statement issued to newsmen alleged that the insurgents have been making preparations to launch the attacks at any moment. According to the statement, information available to the JTF indicates clandestine plans by terrorists to attack military barracks in Maiduguri metropolis particularly the Headquarters of 21 Armoured Brigade. The task force further warned the terrorists to shelve the impending attacks, saying such acts are disastrous; counterproductive and would massively jeopardise the security of their members in military custody. In another development, an early morning explosion

…as early morning blast injures two in Kano yesterday injured two persons along Zoo Road near the Filin Hockey Area in Kano metropolis. It would be recalled that three persons had sustained serious injuries in an early morning bomb blast at Kantin Kwari junction in Kano metropolis on Monday.

A witness who declined identification following yesterday’s incident, told our reporter that the bomb exploded on the road at about 7.30 a.m. He said that after the incident, two unidentified persons who sustained injuries, were rushed to the hospital in a

Fire Service ambulance for medical attention. Kano police command’s Public Relations Officer, Magaji Musa Majiya, confirmed the incident. He said that the bomb, which was in a small can, was planted on the road and that it exploded around 7.30 am.

FG dares Nigerians, Says no going back on new Banquet Hall By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Federal Government yesterday provided more justification for the approval of a contract for a new N2.2 billion Banquet Hall at the President Villa. Speaking to State House correspondents after yesterday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Sen Bala Mohammed, said contrary to widely held belief that new project is a duplication of the existing one, the new one is meant to ease the work of the President because it will be located close to the President’s office. “The new Banquet Hall is for ease of work which will be attached to the President’s office. It is not a duplication or replacement of the existing one”. He continued: “It will contain a private lounge and broadcast facility for addressing the nation. Anytime the President needs to hold some important events, we don’t need to go elsewhere and start improvising. It will be very useful for ECOWAS and AU meetings”.

President Goodluck Jonathan (3rd right), Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah (3rd left), and Jigawa state Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido (2rd left) during the foundation laying ceremony of the Jigawa airport, recently.

Fuel scarcity: Unions holding Nigerians to ransom, alleges FG By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem

The Federal Government has blamed the current fuel scarcity across the country on the activities of unions in the oil industry. A recent sack of some oil workers by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) had sparked off a protest by members of National Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers (NUPENG), and the Petroleum and Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN). The unions threatened to embark on strike if their request to government to intervene and call SPDC to order was not granted by December 4. The unions eventually went on strike. Minister of Petroleum

Resources, Diezani AlisonMadueke who made government’s position known while fielding questions from State House Correspondents, yesterday, said this was happening despite the fact that government is doing its best to give other oil marketers a level playing field to own tank farms instead of an individual owning many thereby holding the nation to ransom when it comes to offloading fuel at the ports. “Well we had a slight union issue over the last few days which we are also trying to handle that created the upsurge again in the fuel queues but that is well on its way to being sorted out and so it will go down again. “I think that the NNPC is doing everything it can to

ensure that there is a level playing field for all interested marketers and operators. You will bear in mind that these are private sector operators and marketers, who actually set up their facilities to make a profit and what we do on the government side is to support them in terms of the allocations, etc. On the whether the yuletide is likely going to be celebrated with fuel queues, the minister said: “We are doing everything possible to ensure that does not happen. Initially, the queues came out of the whole fuel subsidy issue and the fact of course that verification of certain amounts and certain marketers claims were being made very stringently and this had toned down.

Senate may revoke N2.4bn FCT contract By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) may revoke the N2.4billion contract awarded by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), for the construction of the Government Science School, Maitama. The chairman of the committee, Smart Adeyemi, made this threat yesterday during an oversight visit to some selected FCT projects in Abuja, regretting that the school project is experiencing undue delay since it was awarded in 2005. According to him, “This is the seventh year of this project and every year, we appropriate funds for it. It should not be left as a conduit pipe to siphon public funds. Those of you supervising the project must also be upright. We will monitor what is happening here”. Earlier, FCT Deputy Director (Infrastructure), Education Secretariat, Mr. Kamfut Awallan, explained that the contract sum for the project was increased to N1.6billion in 2012, though it was originally awarded for N900million. At the site of the International Technical and Vocational Institute, Utako, Awallan said N1.3billion was needed to complete the project which, according to him, is expected to be completed next year.

Security agencies aiding importation of illegal arms, says taskforce By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he National President of the Importers Association of Nigeria and the DirectorGeneral of the National Taskforce against the Importation Illegal Arms (NATFORCE), Emmanuel Osita Okereke, has accused the Nigerian customs and other security agencies of aiding the importation of small arms and light weapons into the country. Addressing the press yesterday in Abuja, Okereke stated that the taskforce, set up by the office of the National Security Adviser as collaborative measure aimed at stemming the tide of small arms proliferation in the country, has been facing a lot of frustrations from the nation’s security agencies. According to him, “The customs have been trying to frustrate us from carrying out our work because they have been compromised by those who do the arms deals”, he stated.



USAID sets up 300 c’ttees on maternal mortality


L-R: Member, House of Representatives, Hon. Garba Umar Uba, former Vice-Chancellor, Usman Danfodio University Sokoto/Leader of the Yawuri Emirate Development Association, Prof. Mahdi Adamu Ngaski, Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, and Alhaji Abubakar Musa Garkuwa, during a visit by the association to the Speaker, yesterday at the National Assembly, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Flood: FG donates 40 trucks of grains to Nasarawa farmers


he Federal Government has donated 40 trucks of grains to victims of the recent flood disaster in Nasarawa state. Executive Secretary of the Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency (NASEMA), Dr. Abdullahi Idris disclosed this yesterday in Lafia. He said that the donation was made through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Idris said that there were 24,000 bags of grains in the trucks, adding that they include maize, sorghum and millet. The executive secretary said

that the grains had already been received and had been stored in various ware houses in Shabu pending distribution to the victims. He gave the assurance that the agency, in collaboration with the state’s Ministry of Agriculture and other stakeholders would work assiduously to ensure that the grains got to all the victims of the flood disaster. Idris said that although the grains would not make up for the loss incurred by the farmers due to the flood, it would offer momentary relief to them. He pointed out that more than

2,000 hectares of farmland and crops were destroyed by the flood in the state. Meanwhile, Gov. Umaru AlMakura, on Tuesday inaugurated a 15-member task force to ensure the equitable distribution of relief material to all victims of the flooding in the state. Al-Makura, while inaugurating the task force in Lafia, said it was part of his administration’s effort to bring succour to the victims. NAN reports that more than 200 communities were affected, while over 94,000 persons were displaced by the disaster in the state. (NAN)

After food, housing is the main human need-Minister By Etuka Sunday


n a bid to ensure that the cravings of Abuja residents are met, the minister of state for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide said that priority attention would be given to housing which she described as man’s fundamental need after food. She made the statement in Abuja during the flag-off ceremony of the Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed’s staff housing estate, Ushafa, Bwari

area council. According to her, President Jonathan’s administration focuses on the ordinary working Nigerians and wants the same level of infrastructure in Abuja city to be in the area councils and the satellite towns. The scheme which comprises 4000 housing units of different categories, was the federal government’s response to housing deficit in the FCT, aimed at providing affordable houses to the working class. Akinjide further stated that

Six North-east governors to meet From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


ix North-east governors will meet in Bauchi for a two-day summit under the auspices of the North-east Alliance for Transformation on Security and socio-economic transformation. The governors of Adamawa , Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Borno, Taraba, and Yobe states will meet today at the famous Yankari Resort and Safari with stakeholders drawn from the government, industry, academia and non-governmental organizations to deliberate on the perennial economic and

educational problems facing zone. The Chairman of Red Carpet Protocol, Chief Osaro Onaiwo organizers of the summit, said at pre-summit press conference in Bauchi yesterday that the forum would also brainstorm on other key areas as education, health, and agriculture. He said apart from security, issues pertaining to Investment and Finance, and environmental sustainability would also be addressed. Other areas to be thoroughly discussed during the two day summit are Poverty Alleviation and

while the scheme is financed by the federal mortgage bank, the federal government provides the land and infrastructure . The private sector, added builds it so that it could be affordable. In his speech, the chairman, Bwari area council, Hon. Peter Ushafa said the housing scheme would ensure productivity and efficiency of government workers. According to him, the exorbitant house rents have forced workers to live in areas like Marraraba and Suleja which makes it difficult to report early to their offices . Economic Development, Employment, Infrastructural development, Culture and Tourism. He noted that the North-east sub region has for sometimes now been beset by critical social vices such as insecurity, poverty, disease and hunger. Onaiwo pointed out that the stakeholders would collaborate and facilitate the transformation and development of the North-east to spur growth and restore peace by attracting both local and foreign investments. The sub-regional Summit would be Chaired by retired General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma.

he Targeted States High Impact Project (TSHIP), Bauchi State office has facilitated 300 ward development committees in the 20 local government areas of the state to address health related issues. The Mobilisation Specialist, Alhaji Ahmed Ahmed, of the USAID funded project said yesterday in Bauchi that the committees would also address issues related to maternal mortality. Ahmed said that the action was to train the members of the committees to mobilise and create awareness on maternal health, family planning and other related issues. He said the committees would help to further strengthen and sustain the health of the communities. “The project has trained some of the technical experts of some of the Bauchi based NGOs to effectively mobilise the

development committees,’’ he said. The Executive Director, Rahama Women and Youth Development, Mrs. Mariam Illiya, said that the NGO was engaged by the state high impact project. She also revealed that the NGO had started work with 45 ward development committees in Alkaleri, Kirfi and Itas Gadau, all in Bauchi State. “What we are doing is to make the communities take owner ship of health issues in their communities. “So that they will create awareness among their people and take proper steps to curtail maternal mortality,’’ Illiya said. Also speaking, the Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Isa Yuguda on Development Partners, Alhaji Bashir Hassan, said, “the state government is determined to create an enabling environment for donor partners”. (NAN)

299 Kwara Christians arrive Israel From Olanrewaju Lawal,Ilorin


he first batch of 299 Christian pilgrims to this year pilgrimage to Israel arrived Tel Aviv International Airport Tuesday at about 1:25 pm. The pilgrims who left Ilorin on Monday en-route Lagos boarded At-Atlas aircraft around 2:25 am on Tuesday at International Airport, Lagos and had a stop-over in Turkey. The leader of the contingent to this year pilgrimage and

Olomu of Omu-Aran, Oba Charles Oladele Ibitoye expressed appreciation to the State government for sponsoring many of the pilgrims to perform their religious obligation. The pilgrims who assembled at St.Peter Church, Joppa Tuesday in commencing their functions, prayed for the sustenance of peace in Kwara State. They will continue their religious functions today when they move to Bethlehem.

ESSPIN distributes learning materials to 2,355 pupils in Kwara From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN), Kwara state office has distributed school and learning materials to 2,355 pupils in 20 primary schools in Kaima, Kaima local government area of Kwara state. The materials according to ESSPIN, was part of N50 million challenged fund set aside by Britain to ensure children out of schools are reenrolled. Among materials distributed include; exercise books, shoes, school bags, drums and uniforms. The Kwara state team leader, Mrs. Emma Mba while speaking during distribution of the materials said the most important thing was the sustainability of the programme. She disclosed that six teachers engaged by ESSPIN

were disengaged because they could not stay with the pupils despite provision of accommodation and social amenities. Mba added that they were replaced with fresh teachers who are ready to stay in their community and appealed to parents to allow more of their girl children to enrol in schools. The Commissioner for Education, Science and Human Capital Development, Alhaji Saka Onimago who was represented by Director, School Services, Mrs. Comfort Titilayo Adeoti commended ESSPIN for their laudable achievement and appealed to other philanthropists to emulate the gesture. Earlier, the Chairman of Kaima local government area, Malam Aliu Abubakar Sidiq, in an interview with Journalists, assured the people of the area that the council would continue to support the ESSPIN programme as long it has more funds.



Reps decry rising death of Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia By Umar Muhammad Puma


he House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, on Tuesday, decried the death of about 44 Nigerians pilgrims to this year's Hajj in Saudi Arabia, describing it as a big issue that calls for concern.

Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Nnena Elendu-Ukeje, expressed the concern at the 2013 budget defense of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON). She also said media reports on the conclusion of the last exercise was not encouraging due to

reports of the unhygienic conditions Nigerian pilgrims lived in. NAHCON chairman, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello said, of the 1,534 female pilgrims deported during the muharam controversy, only one from Jigawa state who died was unable

to return to Saudi Arabia while the remaining ones returned and performed the pilgrimage. He also said the commission intends to spend N724.46 million in 2013 with N524.46 to be spent on recurrent and N200 million on capital expenditure.

Kogi SUBEB boss calls for probity, warns contractors From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


he Kogi state Universal Basic Education Board ( SUBEB)has reminded those still thinking of defrauding the board, to shelve the idea as their is a new policy thrust. The Chairman of the Board Alhaji Usman Jibrin dropped this hint Tuesday at an interactive section with newsmen in Lokoja stressing that the era of ghost schools and ghost teachers, would soon be a thing of the past. He warned contractors bidding for job under the board who had not completed previous ones, to stay clear and read the riot act against executing shoddy job. The SUBEB chairman explained that his mission to the board was to ensure probity, accountability and transparency. Jibrin said the present management of the board was prepared to make the schools places of pride since "most of us are products of public schools" through infrastructural development.

Soyinka centre to honour journalists By Ibahim Kabiru Sule L-R: Edo state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, State Director, State Security Service (SSS), Mr. Bakori Tukur, Area Commander, Auchi Police Command, Mr. David Jimwan, and Divisional Police Officer, Auchi, Mr. Ahmed Ibin Umar, inspecting the armoured personnel carrier bombed by bandits where it was parked behind the Divisional Police office, yesterday, in Auchi,

Plot to kidnap Lebanese businessman foiled By Matthew Aramunde, Lagos


ine suspected kidnappers, were an Tuesday, paraded before newsmen by the Lagos State Police Command. The suspects, according to the Lagos State Police public Relations Office Ngozi Braide, have stated in writing , why they planned to kidnap, rob or possibly kill a Lebanese businessman and rob the bullion van conveying the company's N5million to the bank. Speaking further, she said that the build-up to this heinous crime by the suspects began three years ago when one of the suspect, who was then a driver in the company owned by the businessman, jokingly told some of his coworkers that he could plan to kidnap, rob and possibly kill the businessman for always paying meager salaries, which he described as slave wages. Other workers who had thought it was the ranting of an ant, had dismissed his threat with a wave of hand. To actalise what his co workers thought was a joke, the suspects Patrick Omosafe, 35, and Mohammed Isah, both ex-drivers with JY Construction of Nigeria

Limited, owned by the Lebanese(names withheld) contacted some of their comradesin-crime to assist them in carrying out their devilish acts. .However, before they could carry out their plot, it was said to have been leaked to the police by the Managing Director of the company who was also penciled down for assassination on November 30, this year, while a bullion van containing about N5million being conveyed from the company to the bank would also have been robbed by the suspects. Revealing further, Braide said that Omosafe and Isah were said to have contracted one Monday Echoda,who hails from Edo state to coordinate the deal after they had met at a hotel located in Ikoyi on November 26.They were later joined by other suspects, Oshussien Abel, Musa Salifu,Godwin Onoja and Wisdom Awarin who are Abuja-based and with whom they lodged in a hotel in Festac town. While preparing for the operation Braide said, the suspects confessed that they fortified themselves with some juju concoction which they

sprinkled on white handkerchiefs. They were dressed in suits, just to give impression that they were SSS operatives, when they will be intercepting the bullion van conveying the money to the bank. There were however different tunes when the suspects were questioned by our correspondent on their involvement in the robbery deal. while Emmanuel Nathan 29, who hails from Akwa Ibom State and driver to the MD denied his

involvement in the deal, Emmanuel Fuere Osunde, an assistant Human Resource Manager merely regretted that he failed to inform the authorities when Nathan joked of plot to kidnap the MD for paying peanuts as wages stressing that "I did not want to report Nathan because it is common for staff of the company to complain about poor wages, because I did not want the driver of the MD to see me as a spoiler."

Nibo community vows to stem kidnapping By Muhammad Nasir s part of efforts to stem the tide of kidnapping in the country, the president of Nibo community, Abuja branch, Emeka Okonkwo has said the union is collaborating with the Anambra state government to stamp out the kidnapping menace out of the State. A statement issued yesterday by the president of Nibo community, Abuja, Emeka Okonkwo, said the Nibo Community union has equipped the vigilante with security gadgets and donated block of classrooms to their immediate


community in Anambra State as part of their social responsibility to the people. Okonkwo commended the state governor, Peter Obi for his numerous developmental strides across the state and called on him to open up new roads in the community to attract investors there. However, the chairperson of the union, Lady Tonia Odukanmadu sued for more peace and unity among Nigerians and assured of the readiness of the Nibo people to continue supporting government at all levels.


ournalists who have demonstrated courage in fighting corruption, championed the cause of human rights and public concern during the course of their journalistic works are to be honoured by a nongovernmental organization, known as Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ). The Award ceremony, which is going to be held in Abeokuta on December 9, is meant to reward investigative reporting by journalists so as to "encourage the development of an investigative tradition in the Nigerian media through rigorous scrutiny of human rights violations, regulatory failures and corruption in the public and corporate sectors of the nation's life". Coordinator of the Centre, Motunrayo Alaka who made this known in a statement, explained that the Dean, Lagos State School of Communication Prof. Lai Eso chaired this year's board of judges and have come up with "6 winning works, 6 runners-up and 4 commendations after three weeks of assessment and a one-day scores collation session held on Tuesday 27 November in Lagos". While the merit prize for the best outstanding work across all categories would be awarded, the selected winners, runnersup and commended works would also be announced during public award presentation ceremony, expected to be hosted by the Ogun State governor.

On his part, the president general of the union worldwide, Okey Goodluck Okonkwo restated the commitment of the Nibo people to the



Checklist for becoming a small business consultant


small business consultant works with clients on strategy, planning and problem solving, and helps the client develop business skills and knowledge. These topics range from designing a business model or marketing plan, to determining which marketing techniques to use and how to use them, to learning how to manage a project. A small business consultant gives advice, teaches skills, and brainstorms with the client to produce practical results. A small business coach helps clients to create success by focusing on personal development: time management, self-sabotaging behavior (like procrastination and distraction), finding clarity, decision making, and getting into action. When you put on your coaching hat, you don't give advice. Instead, you help the client find the answers from within themselves. There is a lot of confusion between what the ICF calls a "small business coach" and what the rest of the world calls a "small business coach." Don't get hung up on titles. You can call yourself a consultant, advisor, mentor or coach and most clients will understand that it means you'll help them solve problems and grow their business. Pay attention to the outcomes the clients seek. (If it helps, I call myself a coachconsultant.) Here is a list of things to consider when you are starting or growing your small business consulting practice: Start with your own skillbuilding: You cannot be an effective consultant if you don't bring value to the small business owner. Be relentless in your ongoing skill building. You become more in-demand and can

charge higher fees based on the your wider the breadth of knowledge and expertise. Check your experience level: It's rare that a small business owner will entrust their business to a small business consultant who has never owned a business before or who doesn't have a high level of expertise in a topic area. An expert is defined as having 10,000 hours of experience with the topic they claim as their expertise. If you use a traditional 40-hour workweek as your ruler, that means you need at least 5 years' full time experience with your small business topics. Determine your big why: Before you get down to the nittygritty of designing your business and getting clients, figure out why you want to be a small business consultant and help this specific target audience. What is your motivation? Knowing this will keep you going when you hit the inevitable speed bumps along the way to building your business and serving your clients. Determine what "success" looks like for you personally: Keep your eye on the target. The definition of success differs from person to person. Take some time to visualize all the ways that a successful consulting practice will manifest in your personal and professional life. Write a business plan: Go through all the same steps you would go through with a client, and work on your own business model design. Things to consider: what legal format you'll use, what are your mission and vision statements, what are your offerings, your pricing and profit models. Include the resources you will need to succeed, like money, time, skills/knowledge, equipment and other people. Set goals and milestones for the next

Business consultants 1 year, 3 years and 5 years. Write a marketing plan: There are many small business consultants out there. How will you be remarkable and stand out from the crowd? How will you connect with your audience and build rapport and trust? Will you use traditional marketing techniques only, or combine traditional and internet marketing? Which of the 100+ available techniques will bring the best results? How much will you invest in marketing (in both time and money)? What are the goals of your marketing? Learn coaching skills: You will be working with human beings who have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Learn deep listening skills and how to ask meaningful questions to get clarity and provide focus. Learn how to hold clients accountable and deal with difficult client situations. Choose a focus or niche.

Determine if your specialty requires you to have a license or certification (financial and tax advisors, legal advisors, insurance advisors). Will you focus on a small topic area, or will you be an expert who can help clients with most of their challenges and projects? Will you work with a particular size business based on number of employees or revenue? Decide if you are going to advise them, or do the work for them. Some consultants are more like mentors and advisors, who work with the small business owner to do planning and strategy work. Other small business consultants provide a specific service as a sub-contractor, to augment the client's staff. Learn the problems that most small business owners have and formulate a strategy to define and solve those problems. When I teach my small business consultant training program, I

outline the top 29 problems that my clients commonly need help with. Use readily available strategies, tools and assessments to help solve these problems, or create ones of your own. Deeply understand the seven areas of a business model to help your clients in the areas that are causing the most damage or have the best return on investment if they make a change. Systemize your own business so that you have maximum efficiency. Use templates, automation and sales scripts. Take time early in the setup of your business to create these systems to free up your time and attention for more important tasks. Get help with the administrative and marketing work. Outsource the tasks that you do not want to do, that you are not an expert in, or that take away from your revenuegenerating time.

Reasons to become self-employed in your retirement


ost retirees don't want a lazy lifestyle. Yes, they like to scale-back a little, but doing the same thing day after day is boring. Many people start their own business after they retire. And why not? You have got the time, you have got the energy and experience, and presumably you have got a little money tucked away to tide you through. If ever there is a time to become self-employed, your retirement years are nearly perfect. Here's why: Experience: After all those years of living, you've picked up a thing or two about how business works. You know what good customer service looks and feels like. You can sense what people need and want, and you know how

Quote Simple, genuine goodness is the best capital to establish the business of this life upon. It lasts when fame and money fail, and is the only riches we can take out of this world with us." ? Louisa May Alcott, Little Men S o u r c e :

to talk to others about your ideas. Not only that, but you know what hard work is and you're not afraid to get your hands dirty. Time: Unless you have created a huge "to do" list for your retirement years, you have got plenty of time. You can take time to scope out your business ideas, and take time to implement them properly. You can choose to work part-time or full-time, so that there is still time left over for

traveling or relaxing. When you are self-employed, you can take vacations whenever you want. Money: Many people are worried that they don't have enough money to retire upon. Whether you've got enough to live on, or want to earn a little extra cash, being self-employed will allow you to increase your wealth. In addition, many retirees can use a portion of their nest egg to get themselves started in

business. Energy: At 65 (or earlier, if you're lucky), you've got plenty of energy. Your mind is still as sharp as it was when you were 25 .perhaps even more so, if the idea of sitting around all day is boring to you, put that energy to work for yourself. Control: If you haven't been lucky enough to be self-employed during your earlier years, you know what it's like to have someone else make all the rules for you at work. Being selfemployed means that you make all the rules, and you succeed or fail on your own terms and by applying your own decisions, knowledge and wisdom. Passion: Did you have a job that didn't excite you? Were you always passionate about something that you could only pursue on weekends? Now that you are retired, you can pursue that passion every day of the week and get paid for it. Where to begin As with all business ventures, the first thing you need to do is find what you are passionate about. This is a time in your life when you no longer have to settle

for doing work that's boring or doesn't excite you to the very core. Besides, if you are really passionate about what you are selling, people will sense that excitement and want to buy from you because of it. Take a look at your hobbies for ideas on businesses that interest you. Or, take a look at your bookshelf what books and magazines do you always seem to buy and read? What topics are you always talking about with family and friends? Next, create a business plan for the product or service you are selling. If you don't know how to create a business plan, check out the local library or bookstore for business planning books, or use an online search engine to find sites related to self-employment and small business ownership. If you need help with creating or running your own business, remember that other retirees are here to help. The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a government-sponsored group that offers free advice to anyone starting or operating their own business. They often work out of your local Chamber of Commerce office.




EFCC and its litany of complaints


n Thursday, November 22, 2012, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, complained that the agency is not in the best position to guarantee the conviction of high profile corruption suspects, though the crimes of several, especially the politically exposed ones, are an open secret. He spoke while appearing before the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes to defend the EFCC’s 2013 budget. According to him, it is easier to get convictions against smaller thieves or “yahoo yahoo boys” specializing in internet crimes and petty advance fee frauds than the bigger fishes who use their ill-gotten wealth to prolong their cases in court. The big thieves he said he could not nail in court include top politicians, especially former state governors, former federal ministers and lawmakers. According to him, they use their wealth to hire smart lawyers, who use legal technicalities to get their cases to drag on in an effort to wear out the prosecution. “We have as an example a case we took to court in 2006; we have gone to the Supreme Court twice on just interlocutory applications. They will file this, the judge will overrule them, they will go to Court of Appeal and lose there, but they will still go to the Supreme Court. Even when they lose here they will be asked to go to the trial judge for the case to continue,” Lamorde said. We at Peoples Daily do understand Lamorde’s predicament. At the same time, we remind him that the war against the big time looters of the nation’s wealth is not easily winnable. As

he himself admits, he is up against criminals with huge financial resources at their disposal. But this is no reason to appear defeatist, for this is how he sounded in his confessional. Come to think of it, to some extent the EFCC is its own undoing. It is to be expected that the agency’s inability to build a water tight case against suspects will be exploited by smart lawyers to prolong the trials of their clients in order to wear the agency and the courts out. Secondly, the absence of a mechanism to

All said, it boils down to the preparedness of EFCC to do a nice job of its mandate. It should sit up instead of just sitting back and giving excuse ensure that the justice system is not abused by corrupt judicial officers makes the agency’s work doubly difficult. We believe that the anti-graft war is winnable, not least because of the overwhelming backing of millions of Nigerians that the EFCC enjoys. But first, it must begin to build water tight cases against corruption suspects such that they can stand in court. This is only possible with thorough investigations before cases are taken to court. The case of former Delta state governor, James Ibori, who

OUR MISSION “To be the market place of ideas and the leading player in the industry by putting the people first, upholding the truth, maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards while delivering value to our stakeholders”

was let off the hook by our own court for want of evidence, only for him to be jailed in London for the same offences of corruption and money laundering, was a sad case of how not to conduct criminal investigations. Also the widespread allegations of compromises against the EFCC on the Ibori case leave much to be desired on the integrity of the agency. On the other hand, we believe the judiciary must rise to the occasion and take cases of corruption with the seriousness they deserve. Many believe that there is a need for a special court for financial crimes. We do not subscribe to this popular sentiment because we believe the country’s laws are adequate to deal with corruption at all levels of public life. What we need to do is strengthen the existing justice system and ensure that those who run it are men and women of high integrity. A situation where judges grant frivolous injunctions aimed at dragging out a case is completely unacceptable. We implore the National Judicial Council (NJC), the body responsible for hiring, promoting and disciplining judicial to sanction judges who allow this. We welcome the amendment to the EFCC law which provides for the forfeiture of assets of high profile suspect arrested by the commission pending the determination of their cases so as to reduce their financial capacity to frustrate their trials. On the issue of plea bargaining, we are of the opinion that the EFCC must ensure that the practice is not subjected to abuse to the benefit of suspects. All said, it boils down to the preparedness of EFCC to do a nice job of its mandate. It should sit up instead of just sitting back and giving excuse.









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By Ifeanyi Izeze


resident Goodluck Jonathan’s declaration in Uyo at the opening of a retreat for the reconstituted board of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) that the Federal Government is set to recover N1.3 trillion owed it by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other multinational oil companies would have excited Nigerians if not that the declaration came from no other place than the Presidency. The problem with governance and the government people in this country is that most times they don’t weigh what they tell Nigerians at public forums or maybe they think those outside government are too naïve to know anything. Maybe the President was feigning ignorance of the widely known truth that almost all the financial malfeasances in the NNPC could be directly traced to the Presidency right from the time Obasanjo took over the administration of the nation’s apex oil concern as the sole administrator down to the Yar’Adua’s short stay at Aso Rock. It would have been marvelously patriotic if the Chairman of the NEITI board, Ledum Mitee, can implement exactly what he said at the Uyo


NNPC’s N1.3trillion debt to FG event that, “relevant statutory sanctions should be invoked by NEITI against relevant government agencies identified to have willingly frustrated the implementation of remedial issues in NEITI audit reports over the years.” and this has to start from where the real problem of the oil industry and NNPC is domiciledthe Presidency. It is not a Jonathan thing as the mess has been on for over 10 years now though we are not sure if the current President is behaving differently from his predecessorsObasanjo and Yar’adua by surrogate. Previous NEITI audit reports clearly disclosed missing signature bonuses for oil bloc awards, unaccounted crude oil sales revenues, stolen crude oil officially allocated for domestic refining and so many other malfeasances involving the NNPC/Ministry of Petroleum Resources. The question is, how much or rather what percentage of these monies have we been able to recover? Almost all the NNPC Group Managing Directors, GMDs (except one that is late) that reigned during this period under review are still alive and moving around freely. So without holding

the NNPC to account, how are we going to go after the foreign operators who in most cases are even minor partners in almost all the existing joint ventures of fraud? And until the issue of the Presidency’s meddling with the business and ofcourse resources of the NNPC as if the corporation is the financial arm of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) remains unaddressed, transparency in the oil sector would remain a mirage. NEITI can go ahead to “invoke relevant sanctions under Section 16 of the NEITI against any company found to have underpaid the federal government,” it is not going to produce a single good result. How could anybody imagine that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources could set aside N6.2bn to lobby Nigerians to accept the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which the National Assembly is current debating? Is this not madness? Even members of the National Assembly were terribly shocked last week when it was revealed that the N6.2 billion was meant for the implementation of PIB awareness campaign which kicked off since 2010. Figures disclosed at the

House of Representatives showed that N945 million was already spent in 2010 while another N16. 370 million was spent in 2011. As claimed by the Petroleum Ministry, this PIB lobby or rather awareness campaign is to be taken across the nation and was supposed to have commenced since October 2010 and to be completed Dec 2015. The question is: where has the Petroleum Ministry ever done any form of awareness campaign that it claimed it has already spent over N1billion Naira? And what awareness are they even talking about? Whether the man on the street and villages say no to what government already set out to do in the PIB, is it going to change a single thing or stop government –executive and national assembly from going ahead with the new law/ so who is deceiving who? As disclosed by the NEITI chairman, beyond the publication of audit report, they have resolved to embark on the “act of naming, shaming and prosecuting those entities and officers whose action or inaction either impedes the statutory functions or otherwise causes or potential loss of revenue to the country.”Good as it sounded, it is

a near impossibility for NEITI to harass the Presidency for misappropriating funds generated by the NNPC. In the first instance, who appointed the board? Was it not the same President? Who does it report to? Is it not to the President? Has there been any statutory allocation to NEITI in the nation’s appropriation laws since it came into existence during the Obasanjo administration? Is it clearer now? How can an agency that is a unit of the Presidency stand up to challenge the President over the mess in the NNPC because almost all the missing monies in the corporation could be traced to the Presidency and the PDP board? And if NEITI cannot hold the Presidency accountable as the power house of the malfeasances in the management of the nation’s oil and gas revenues it is impossible to genuinely query the administration and application of Excess Crude Oil Account and the 13 percent derivation allocation to state and local government councils. Let us focus more on recovering the established stolen monies including subsidy payments or more aptly zakkat. Ifeanyi Izeze is reachable on

Power problem: Kuchi is right on evil spirits By Tunji Ariyomo


ne of the Ministers of Power (there are two of them) was quoted as telling a South African delegation last week that evil spirits were preventing Nigeria from achieving sustainable electricity supply. The minister, Hajiya Zainab Kuchi, was even quoted as recommending exorcism. “We must resolve to jointly exorcise the evil spirit behind this darkness”. Okay, I concede that Nigerians, especially the ‘collective children of anger’, as usual, might be tempted to twist her statement beyond its basic intendment. It, therefore, did not come to me as a surprise to observe that Cyberia went into overdrive, latching onto this patriotic recommendation of the minister, twitting it, facebooking it and what else – 2going it. From relative obscurity, Hajiya Zainab has been catapulted into national reckoning and today, it is likely that she is one of the most well known ministers. I, however, share a different view. I affirm that the minister is right. It could, however, be a dangerous error to attempt exorcism of these “evil spirits” when we are yet to identify the type that have turned PHCN and the ministry of power into such a permanent abode of demons, thereby arresting and undermining the noble efforts of ministers. There is no doubt about the intention of these evil spirits – to keep Nigerians in the dark, permanently. Come to think of it, does it appear as ‘ordinary’ that the nation would spend a record sum of twenty five billion US dollars only to move from 4,200

megawatts in the early days of the Olusegun Obasanjo administration to 4,100 megawatts in 2012? Even when some are likely to feign ignorance of the recorded sighting of blood sucking demons in the nation’s aviation industry, genuine patriots must take serious words coming from the informed minds of ministers very seriously. It is the person in charge that has seen the in and out of the power ministry and it is my view that rushing to condemn such persons is a display of ignorance and an underestimation of the devilish power packed by demons. This is why we must move beyond uninformed responses and see the patriotic flavour in the simple and well intentioned recommendation of Hajiya Zainab who spoke bluntly and frankly. After a thorough consideration of the issues and knowing that we have no other country to call our own, I have reluctantly taken it upon myself to help Hajiya Zainab so that we can bring a closure to this issue once and for all time. Even though my great grandfathers would have burdened madam with numerous and costly matters of sacrificial items such as those suggested by Kayode Ogundare viz – “N1.2bn only for akuko adiye (cock), N2bn for epo pupa (palm oil), N1.3bn only for igan aso funfun (piece of special white cloth from Pakistan. Digression; the Minister of Agric likes Pakistan and has secured the assurance of Pakistan to teach us the secret of textile so that Nigeria can break into the world’s textile business arena currently being dominated by the likes of Pakistan), N700m for eye owiwi (adult owl), N300m for eye adaba

(an egret), N1.5bn for ewe jenwitemi (a special leaf named ‘freedom of speech’) and N5bn round figure for awon nkan miran ta gbodo so (other stuffs that we must not mention in the public). Total estimates for sacrifice to the spirits if there must be uninterrupted power supply would thus be (N12bn)” – my patriotism will propitiate for this. Thus, because of the great urgency and mighty significance of uninterrupted power to national development as well as the realization, as admitted by the minister, that the nation has expended several billions of dollars (the minister calls this ‘huge tax payers resources’) already, I have decided to reveal this secret in the interest of the nation – after all, oju lon r’oju s’anu (we must empathize with one another). When Hajiya Zainab gets to work next week, she should go to her senior minister and request of him to urgently summon the permanent secretary (PS), director generals (DGs) of all parastatals in the power ministry and the directors of the various departments of the power ministry. She must ensure that all government appointed heads of the 18 successor companies of the PHCN are invited. She may

even ask the minister to invite her predecessors and previous PSs, DGs, directors etc. She must not forget the contractors either. While the invitations are being sent out, she must quickly ask the senior minister to order a brand new ‘jigi’ (large life-sized mirror) from Jabi market in Abuja. Once these eminent people have all assembled and the mirror positioned upright in the conference hall, she must then check her watch to be sure it is 12 noon (that is when the sun is up above the head). Now, this is the moment we have been waiting for. Hajiya must now request each of the oga patapata (from current senior Minister, past Ministers, PS etc to the most junior director) to step forward and stand upright in front of the mirror one person at a time. As they take turn, Insha Allah, each of the horrific evil spirits responsible for the nation’s darkness will appear to each of these eminent men – life and direct. Each person must, however, test the spirit to be certain that what he or she sees is indeed real. The test of the spirit is easy. Once a VIP (very important person) is standing firmly erect in front of a mirror, he must raise one of his hands and make a gesture as he

She must ensure that all government appointed heads of the 18 successor companies of the PHCN are invited. She may even ask the minister to invite her predecessors and previous PSs, DGs, directors etc. She must not forget the contractors either

deems fit. If the spirit that appears perfectly and simultaneously imitates the VIP, then ‘ifa jana’ (the oracle strikes truth). That horrific being in the mirror that is pretending to be an angel of light is one of the evil spirits. It is only when these spirits have been properly identified that the process of exorcism as recommended by the minister can now commence in earnest. Even the Christian Bible indicates that it was after the ‘Legion’ spirit has been identified that the Messiah, Jesus, began the process of exorcism, not before. I know that the ‘collective children of anger’ might want to dismiss this. Haven’t most of them embraced the white man’s religion at the expense of Ifa and Amadioha? The minister has suggested that we need spiritual intervention. I agree with her. My prescription will identify the evil spirits. If they insist that they do not want to have anything to do with our traditional method, then I suggest that after the evil spirits might have been identified, they could go ahead and invite the nation’s foremost spiritual fathers, such eminent people like Sheikh Alfa Muhammed Bashir, the Chief Imam of Ilorin, Sheikh Abdul Akeem Yayi Akorede, the Chief Imam of Akure Kingdom, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, Bishop Ayo Oritsejafor etc for the exorcism proper. This might even provide a perfect opportunity for Bishop Kukah and Bishop Oritsejafor to iron out their recent differences over the small matter of a private Bombardier jet. Tunji Ariyomo can be reached on



Mr. President’s inadvertent disclosure By Nasiru Suwaid


ne thing you can never take away from the average Nigerian is a big dose of cynicism, especially against those institutions representing the state. I found an example in a radio interview I was privileged to listen in to, conducted by the late Richard Kotey of the Voice of America with the late irrepressible activist and human rights advocate, Chief Gani Fawehinmi. As usual with all communications with the fiery Lagos lawyer, it was more of a spat than a mere cozy exchange of information with a very cynical journalist, openly wondering why the Nigerian activists collective are always highly distrustful of their governments. Indeed, it was at the very moment the legal guru was explaining the characteristic devilish capacity of those in authority, to manipulatively control the mindset and outward thinking of the citizens, the telephone simply went dead, which had to take a couple of minutes before the Voice of America Studio was able to establish contact with the interviewee. Though for the rest of the program, tried as anyone could within the studio, the late Chief could only believe that the disruption was engineered by the agents of Nigerian State. Thus, it is upon such a

By Hajia Sani


few of us may have read or heard about one popular European work of fiction: Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The analyses that have trailed the author’s fictional account/perception of Africa and Africans, more than any other book, sum up the relevance of this debate topic. Here is an insight. In his authoritative text and criticism of the book, erudite Nigerian scholar and novelist, Professor Chinua Achebe, gives an outstanding, picturesque summation of the prejudices and perceptions that trail our continent to date. Let me share some of the things Achebe found. “Heart of Darkness projects the image of Africa as ‘the other world’, the antithesis of Europe and therefore of civilization, a place where man’s vaunted intelligence and refinement are finally mocked by triumphant bestiality…” Achebe notes that “this was and is the dominant image of Africa in the Western imagination and Conrad merely brought the peculiar gifts of his own mind to bear on it. ...the West seems to suffer deep anxieties about the precariousness of its own civilization and has a need for constant reassurance by comparison with Africa. Consequently Africa is something to be avoided.” Even more critical a parameter is the understanding or lack of it that permeates all issues pertaining to Africa. Achebe opines: “.... did not that erudite British historian and Regius Professor at Oxford, Hugh

mindset that the statement by of life of any itinerant citizen majority of citizens of this Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, at within the locality, to have an country, who are the Presidential Media Chat seems existence elevated from the unquestionably the poor, the highly portentous, when he desperate need and want of the peasants and the ordinary folks. indignantly blurted-out that; “I basic necessities of life. Coming with the release of the However, it is just like the well never promised to reduce poverty. researched economic I only promised projection that to create came in the form wealth;” as if of the Economic the policy Intelligence i n s p i r e d Unit’s annual Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text economic act of Global Quality of messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written w e a l t h Life index, which contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 creation is enumerated the words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and m u t u a l l y best places in the a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed exclusive of the world where an to: developmental individual gets activity of social relief, The Editor, p o v e r t y either in having Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, reduction. In access to basic fact, while infrastructure, 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. s o m e w e l f a r e Email: let communication supporting SMS: 07037756364 experts and mechanisms m e d i a and low crime managers have pondered and psychoanalytical root of the rate. Unfortunately, on all this placed the current presidential expression Freudian slips has fundamental determinants, a thinking within the realm of that suggested, as an error in speech child born in the year 2013 in natural age old human failings of which usually occurs due to some Nigeria is projected to be living Freudian slips, as no sensible unconsciously subdued wish or a in the worst place on earth. The irony though is that it administrator operating a dynamically repressed truth. The progressive economic model, series of happenings seemingly was in the same week of the yet naturally publishing of the Economist could opt for a system that merely unconnected creates wealth for individuals attached to the economic fortunes subsidiary’s index, that Forbes without leaving any impact on of the Nigerian state and need I say Magazine, another equally credible financial the development index of the its citizens, has left an indelible highly greatest majority of persons in the impression that indeed Mr. publication, released the names society, which directly affects the President actually knew what he of the richest individuals and in inferring, about his Africa and it was a Nigerian that level or even availability of was individually generated income administrations unfair economic made one the highest net gains personal worth. The within the community and distribution system, which is in indirectly has effect on the quality highly tilted against the greatest incredulous perception is that

since the people quoted have made their profits within the Nigerian economy, the normal assumption is that far from the expected, the economy is in a great shape pandering to the grand motives of entrepreneurial profits and personal industry, after all it is a widely accepted economic norm, that the wealth of nations is measured by the general prosperity of its rich people, for they are the principal employers of labor and substantial payers of taxes. Thus, we know a communist China has grown economically, when it only came second to the capitalist United States of America, in a survey of countries with persons having a billion dollar asset throughout the year. However, a little perusal of the entries into the billionaires list, state that apart from the person who is placed first in the entry, an icon in the manufacturing industry of household necessaries and cement, all the other entrants made their Forbes appearance on the winning of concessionary oil blocks, a fact which made them less likely to be high employers of labor, due to the evident structural reality of the petroleum industry globally and in Nigeria, thus confirming the fact that indeed this administration is only interested in creating wealth rather than reducing poverty. Nasiru Suwaid is on Facebook

do with ‘ignorance’! This is the year 2012! Can anyone really give ignorance as an excuse, what with the plethora of technological conveniences; the Internet, GSM, Outdoor and if you will, indoor social media? The more dangerous outcrop of age-old malignant prejudices by colonialists, has however, gripped the generations that have today inherited Africa! Africans in the last twenty-five years have exhibited equally destructive, if not more destructive prejudices against fellow Africans. Just, mentally scan the entire continent and tell me which region has managed to escape the off-shoot of preconceived prejudice of leaders against their citizens, brothers against brothers?! In each region, North, South, East and West, the price has continued to be bloodshed of the innocent, the poor, the weak, while those who were put there or who put themselves there as political leaders fan the embers of their prejudice and greed! This cannot and must not be perceived or excused as ignorance or a mere lack of information! No! The information is there via the multitude of media outlets! We just choose not to see, hear or care! What to do: I dare say, a whole lot more, both on the part of African political leaders and the African editors! Political leaders must end the era of impunity in politics; leadership is not a do or die affair! Without the colossal perks of

office, how many will want to be leaders at any costs? It is only when the genuine choices and voices of the people must be supreme that political leaders earn legitimacy! The resources of state at all levels of governance are for the entire people; appropriate them for the benefit of and to enrich the value of life of the people; be accountable to the people! Editors must do the following: As the conscience, eyes, ears and voice of the people, maintain the highest level of professional and moral integrity and decency; sell not your souls to the devil for a few shillings, cefa, naira, dollars etc. It is only then that you will be credible, believable and if you get lucky, even admired and rewarded! Like teachers, many of us were once told that our reward was in heaven! Well, I stand before you today to assure you that our rewards start here! We can facilitate by our critical, factual research and reportage, access to daily nutritious foods, efficient healthcare, quality education, clean water, decent and safe housing and transport, as well as encourage dialogue rather than fanning the embers of discord and war among the peoples of Africaour brothers and sisters in every nook and cranny! This is the cross that the media must bear for our dear continent, indeed, the African media to become a global player of repute! Hajia Sani is Assistant Director, News, Voice of Nigeria (VON).


Repositioning African media globally Trevor Roper, also pronounce that African history did not exist? Quite simply it is the desire — one might indeed say the need — in Western psychology, to set Africa up as a foil to Europe, as a place of negations at once remote and vaguely familiar, in comparison with which Europe’s own state of spiritual grace will be manifest. This need is not new; which should relieve us all of considerable responsibility and perhaps make us even willing to look at this phenomenon dispassionately.” Again Achebe: The most interesting and revealing passages in Heart of Darkness, about the people (of Africa), when representatives of Europe in a steamer going down the Congo (river), encountered the denizens of Africa. We were wanderers on a prehistoric earth, on an earth that wore the aspect of an unknown planet. We could have fancied ourselves the first of men taking possession of an accursed inheritance, to be subdued at the cost of profound anguish and of excessive toil. But suddenly as we struggled round a bend there would be a glimpse of rush walls, of peaked grass-roofs, a burst of yells, a whirl of black limbs, a mass of hands clapping, of feet stamping, of bodies swaying, of eyes rolling under the droop of heavy and motionless foliage. The steamer toiled along slowly on the edge of a black and incomprehensible frenzy. The prehistoric man was cursing us, praying to us, welcoming us — who could tell? We were cut off from the comprehension of our

surroundings; we glided past like phantoms, wondering and secretly appalled, as sane men would be before an enthusiastic outbreak in a madhouse. We could not understand because we were too far and could not remember, because we were traveling in the night of first ages, of those ages that are gone, leaving hardly a sign — and no memories. The earth seemed unearthly. We are accustomed to look upon the shackled form of a conquered monster, but there — there you could look at a thing monstrous and free. It was unearthly and the men were… Achebe asks: “Is Conrad saying then that these two rivers are very different, one good, the other bad? Yes, but that is not the real point. It is not the difference that worries Conrad but the lurking hint of kinship, of common ancestry. For the Thames too “has been one of the dark places of the earth.” It conquered its darkness, of course, and is now in daylight and at peace. But if it were to visit its primordial relative, the Congo, it would run the terrible risk of hearing grotesque echoes of its own forgotten darkness and falling victim to an avenging recrudescence of the mindless frenzy of the first beginnings.” This is the imaging of Africa and Africans! Maybe for as long as we can remember, Africa and its beautiful peoples have been held, viewed and spoken about, with one form of prejudice or the other. Historians, sociologists, political scientists and the likes, will all have us believe that it has something to


By Alaba Abdulazak


overnor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state, by his own admission, is one of the best governors in South-west Nigeria. Truly, he is one of the best when it comes to imposing unpopular policies on the people of the state. Even in less than two years in office, Ajimobi has earned a reputation of a sadistic sociopath who must inflict pain on the downtrodden masses of the State who have benefited nothing from his government since he assumed office as the Governor of the State. Ajimobi, since he became the Governor has been playing the role of a modern day dictator whose conceited decisions must not bend to anything –even public opinion. That is why today, whatever he says is final. Unfortunately, the State House of Assembly that ought to checkmate the excesses of the Governor has become a rubber stamp. If this is wrong-why has the House not for once opposed any of the Governor’s anti-people policies? Or, are they telling the good people of Oyo State that all the policies and programmes of the Governor are flawless and beneficial to the masses? One is tempted to believe that the entire members of the house By S. Y. Ibrahim


he Lagos-Ibadan Concession has unfortunately joined the bandwagon of the many failed marriages in Nigeria. The federal government recently terminated the agreement it entered into with Bi-Courtney Consortium. The works minister has alleged that this was due to the concessionaire’s failure to adhere to the terms of the agreement. More specifically, its inability to reach financial close as stipulated. Experts see a Public Private Partnership (PPP), as a marriage in many ways. I agree! It is a union between two parties who believe that they’re right for each other and are in it for the long run. In an attempt to grasp exactly what went wrong with this seemingly happy couple and what led to an abrupt end for their short-lived marriage, I went back to the beginning; when their eyes met, when they fell in love, their short courtship and their glamorous wedding. And then, just then, I understood. There are some pretty basic critical success factors when it comes to a lasting union, and preparation definitely tops the list. The couple as well as their families undertakes major ground work to see if they are right for each other, if he’ll be able to care of her, put food on the table. They need to find out if they’ll be able to make beautiful babies together and if any of them has a disease they can pass to the other party or their “offspring”. So then, a concession must include two sets of “PPP”, the first and most important being “Preparation, Preparation, Preparation”, then the actual “Public-Private Partnership”. In April, 2009, the Federal Government approved the concession of the Lagos-Ibadan


Once upon a governor have equally joined the bandwagon of the crowd who see themselves as being intellectually inferior to ‘His Excellency’. I’m aware that most of his cabinet members do not bother advising him because he is so narcissistic that he sees everybody as being inferior to him in anything. The abrasive Governor according to them is ‘Mr Know It All’. He knows mathematics more than the mathematicians; he even knows history more than the historians. He is a man who will never submit himself to any superior intellectual discourse. That is why he hardly accommodates in his government intellectual and ideological superiors. Whatever you think you know as cabinet member amounts to zero in the world of Ajimobi. Unfortunately, Ajimobi is one of those egocentric politicians in the country today who will rather be ruined by praise than be saved by criticism. He belongs to the group of borderline personalities who instead proffer solutions to a myriad of problems bedeviling

the poor and is now the one aggravating it. That is why today his various policies and programmes are not only propelled by selfish interest but are not people oriented. Since our pompous Governor assumed office in May 2011, the poor people in the State have become victims of his harsh government policies. He started by his refusal to pay the N18,000 minimum wage for workers in the State before it was partially settled. And as unforgiving as he is; he proceeded with mass retrenchment of workers without thinking of the economic effect of the action. As if that was not enough, the Governor bared his fangs on the common people especially those in Ibadan metropolis, who today have been deprived means of livelihood. These are people whose various places of business have been demolished in the name of beautification. Today, thousands of people who do small business have been deprived their means of livelihood. These are people who

are not doing business to become rich or be able to send their children to United Kingdom like the Governor; but are doing these businesses to survive. It bleeds my heart as an indigene of Oyo State to see how my people are being treated like animals by Ajimobi’s Operation Burst. I really don’t care about Ajimobi’s justification for this action. I see the action as an act of cruelty coming from a selfconceited Governor who detests the poor people in the State. A Governor who could not provide jobs for the indigenes of the State is now depriving the few means of livelihood all in the name of beautification. This is a Governor who said during the electioneering that the N18, 000 minimum wage for workers was small; yet when they voted him into power he betrayed them. This is a Governor who promised the people of the State during the electioneering that he would not demolish any structure; but today he has reneged on that promise. One is taken aback by

Ajimobi’s trait of deceit and lies. Even when he promised to employ 20,000 youths; those employed were not up to 10,000. Even those employed were under-paid. It is clear that the The Governor does not seem to understand what leadership is all about. A leader who cannot put smiles to the lips of the majority is not worthy of being called a leader. Even if as human being he has never tasted poverty, he should try to respect the downtrodden for engaging in something meaningful. These are people with families to take care. Demolishing their places of businesses without finding alternatives for them on time is inhuman and is not acceptable to any right thinking person. Our Governor needs to be reminded that some have been governors before he became the governor. Whether he likes it or not, he can’t be a governor for life. The Nemesis of time will definitely catch up with him no matter how smart he is. Alaba Abdulrazak is reachable on Twitter.

Expressway to Messrs Bi-Courtney Consortium at the cost of N89, 533,688,879.84 with a concession period of 25 years under Design, Build, Operate and Transfer (DBOT) Scheme with 100 per cent funding by the concessionaire. Part of the agreement was that the latter would recover cost and return on investment, via tolls, subject to regulatory guidance from the Federal Government and other charges on Road Support Services. The Federal Government was also expected to reap from the partnership with concession fees of N100 million payable per annum and 5 per cent of all revenues accruing from the project. However, in its Annual Report for the year ending 2010, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), a body charged with the responsibility of regulating all concessions of the Federal Government of Nigeria stated, that it formally sent a request to the Federal Ministry of Works and Bi-Courtney Ltd on the status of the transaction and contract implementation for the Lagos – Ibadan Express Way contract. In the report, ICRC observed that while a lot of work had been undertaken to address some of the concerns raised by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) on the draft Concession Agreement, the following issues needed to be resolved if the project was to meet the basic benchmark of best practices. Amongst these alarming discoveries were that, “An economic case for this investment, as well as the base traffic forecast/modelling had not been made”, “…the financial

model appeared to be rudimentary and overly optimistic in the light of the financial climate existing at the time…”, “The actual cost of the project needed to be determined and agreed between the Ministry and the Concessionaire through a detailed condition survey and outline design”, and “…required a Social and Environment Impact Assessment [EIA] study of the project”. The report also reveals that “Despite communicating this absence of costs and a clear risk allocation structure, the Ministry on behalf of the Federal Government nonetheless went ahead to sign the Concession Agreement.” This was the catastrophic error on the part of the Federal Government that would eventually lead to the failure of this project. One would think that before you give out your daughter’s hand in marriage, you would have addressed all potential pitfalls rather than wait for the marriage to be contracted before pitfalls are addressed. At the “Wedding reception”, i.e. the flag-off ceremony of the project, various newspapers reported optimistic comments by both sides. The then Minister of

Works, Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Hassan Lawal, said “It is my belief that government at all levels would respond to the infrastructural development with strategies that rely more on private sector capital and expertise. With this hand-over today, the Nigeria public will become more aware of this innovation and come to accept that PPP can be beneficial in providing fast delivery of infrastructural projects and also ensure steady and proper maintenance over time, all giving good value for money to Nigerian taxpayers. It is for this reason that Federal Government is pursuing the PPP initiative very vigorously.” The Chairman of Bi-Courtney (the Concessionaire), Dr. Wale Babalakin, said: “ we entered the bid for the rehabilitation of the Lagos- Ibadan Expressway out of a strong belief that Nigeria’s development into glory will be championed only by Nigerians, as no one will love our country as much as we do. The desire to help restore Nigeria’s ailing infrastructures to world-class standards is demonstrably natural to Bi-Courtney”. Lack of adequate preparation

brought about delays in kick starting the project, and according to news reports, issues that ought to have been finalised, like project drawings were still being considered. A few months down the line, the project continued to run into hitches, and understandably so. Series of threats and negotiations went on almost perpetually and amid all of that, loss of human lives and properties ensued due to the terrible state of the project site and its continued deterioration. Truth is, just like a nasty divorce proceeding with a complicated prenup, terminating a concession agreement can have huge financial implications in terms of compensation, legal fees and other ancillary costs. The process can be endless and marred by countless injunctions and directives and in the end, the damage may be irreparable. What hope for PPPs in Nigeria? What has this done for the much needed investor confidence within our Country? How do we prove to the global community that we are serious about our development and bring in foreign direct investment? More questions remain than answers and the only way this country can move forward is by changing its attitude towards PPP. Rather than viewing it as a venture to make money at all costs or a political decision that will add to campaign points, it should be seen as a real marriage akin to that between a man and a woman who plan to grow old together and inspire other young couples to do the same. S. Y. Ibrahim is reachable on Twitter

The Lagos-Ibadan story

Lack of adequate preparation brought about delays in kick starting the project, and according to news reports, issues that ought to have been finalised, like project drawings were still being considered



Karu abattoir shut down as butchers protest new meat haulage policy B By Beauty Amaike

utchers from Garki, Utako, Dei-Dei and other parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) last week, invaded the abattoir, attempting to burn down the newly introduced meat vans distributed to the abattoir. The attempt was to further register their displeasure to the FCT administration over the newly introduced meat haulage vans and the ban on the use of rickety vehicles, motorcycles, among other means in transportation of meat in the territory. Our reporter, who visited the abattoir yesterday, gathered from the Chairman of the Butchers Association at the abattoir, Ahmed Abdulkarin that it took so much effort to get the aggrieved butchers to shelve their initial nefarious intention. However, following the attack, he said that the government had since a week ago closed the abattoir till further notice. Abdulkarin, who lauded the new initiative by the FCT administration expressed dismay over the attack by butchers, as he confirmed that the problem started when the administration brought the new meat vans, numbering, about 10 that they have promised them for the past four years to the abbatoir. Stressing that other butchers

Butchers at New Garki Fish Market recently. in the FCT, were not happy with the fact that they embraced the new system, he said his members were however, very happy with the government over introduction of the meat van. But, after three weeks that the van was brought, one Emir of Karu that his name was not mentioned connived with the butchers and broke into the gate of the abattoir. He added that their plan was to burn the vans, but he told his members to remain calm because

they were going to follow government procedure. He emphasised that he was happy that the enemies of progress had regretted their actions and run away, pleading with the government to reopen the slaughter house because they are solidly behind them. Abdulkarin also appealed to the government to act in the favour of the people, by punishing the perpetrators. On his part, the Financial

Photo: Josephine Ella Ejeh Secretary of Abuja Youth Project Association “said this problem can be said to be little but it is not little. We are in support of the government because the new development is a good achievement but the enemies of progress are trying to stop the good work of the government”. Also reacting to the development, a driver at the abattoir, who gave his name as Gideon Sunday, confirmed that the problem was caused by people

who are not their member. “The strike has affected me because for the past one week I have not worked and I have people that depend on me on daily basis. This problem is an ugly development and the people we are distributing meat to are very happy seeing the new van not like the old one. My prayer is that government should open this place so that our work will be moving,” he lamented.

Three Abuja parking attendants allegedly steal N.8m from client By Beauty Amaike


hree Men, Samuel Omerigwe of No.32 IBB Street, Wuse Zone 4 Abuja,Thomas Alfa of No.28 zone 6 Anyigba close Area 11 and Alfa T. Joseph of Zone 6 wuse Abuja have been arraigned before an

Abuja Chief Magistrates Court on a two count charges of joint act mischief and theft. Police Prosecutor, Sergeant Adoga Joshua told the court that on December 3, 2012, one Mr. Akin O. Richard of Ministry of Communication Technology, Phase 1 Federal Secretariat, Abuja reported to

the central police station that, same date he parked his car with registration No. RL 09KJA with the accused of Platinum park and pay management services at Kumashi house central area and paid the accused for thirty minutes parking slot. According to him, after

minutes, he returned discovering that the accused conspired and forcefully opened his car and made away with N808,000. Joshua told the court that the offence was contrary to Sections 79,327 and 287 of the penal code. H o w e v e r , t h e

Houseboy jailed three months for criminal misappropriation


n Abuja Senior Magistrates Court on Monday sentenced one Abel Timothy, a 31year-old houseboy of No. 3, Tunis St. Wuse Zone 6, Abuja, to three months in prison for alleged criminal. Senior Magistrate Bashir Alkali, however, gave him an option of N1000 fine. The Police Prosecutor, Corporal David Udeh, told the court that on November 27, 2012, one Hajiya Zainab Mohammed of the same address reported Timothy at the Wuse Zone 3 Police Station. Udeh said that Mohammed gave Timothy, who was her houseboy, the sum of N115,000 to pay into her Diamond Bank

account but he converted N35,000 to his personal use. Udeh said that the offence of criminal misappropriation was in contravention to section 309 of the Penal Code. Timothy, who pleaded guilty to the offence asked the court to forgive him. He promised never to commit such a crime again as he did that due to the condition he found himself. “My daughter was very sick as at that time and I needed money to use for her treatment and my madam had travelled to Dubai so, I could not ask her for assistance. “I used the N35,000 to treat my daughter and I told her to deduct it from my salary but she

refused and insisted on taking me to the police station,’’ Timothy explained. On pleading guilty to the offence, Udeh urged the court to try Timothy summarily under Section 157(1) of the Criminal

Procedure Code (CPC). He also urged the court to order the convict to refund the N35,000 to Mohammed under Section 78 of the Penal Code. Alkali said that though the explanation of the convict sounded

Sales boy bags 1 month in prison for stealing bottle of coke


25-year old sales boy, Felix Bala has been sentenced by an Abuja Magistrates Court to one month in prison for stealing a bottle of coke and three packs of Five Alive orange juice, belonging to the Nigeria Bottling Company.

The sentence, follows a guilty plea, entered by Bala who was arraigned before Magistrate Jacinta Okeke. Police Prosecutor, Corporal Simion Emmanuel, had told the court that one Raymond Obani,

accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges. Chief Magistrate, Okeagu Azubuike granted them bail in the sum of 500,000 each and two sureties each in like sum. He therefore, adjourned the case to January,25,2 013 for hearing. sympathetic and showed the love between father and daughter, it did not erode the offence of misappropriation. He said the sentence was to serve as a lesson to him and a deterrent to others. Alkali ordered the convict to refund the sum of N35,000 to Mohammed. (NAN) the chief security officer of the company in Idu, Abuja reported the case to the police. Bala, who pleaded for leniency from the court, admitted that he took the items because he was hungry. He promised never to steal again. Following his plea, Okeke, gave Bala an option of fine of N500 to serve deterrent to others. (NAN)



Yobe state contingent displaying their rich cultural heritage, during, Abuja Carnival, recently.

Police arraigns 20-year-old man for alleged rape of 6-year-old girl


he Police on Monday arraigned one Micheal Dimowo, 20, before Justice Maudashiru Oniyangi of the FCT High Court for alleged rape of a six-year-old girl. Dimowo, who lives in Galadimawa Village, Lugbe,

By Josephine Ella Ejeh


or their efforts towards the development of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the FCT Minister Senator Bala Mohammed, his counterpart, the Minister of State, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, Dantata and Sawoe, Salini, EFAB Properties are among other 61 personalities and corporate organisations listed for the Federal Capital Advancement Award. The award to be conferred on the awardees Wednesday next week at the Musa Yar’adua Centre, Abuja, according to the organisers, Friends of the FCT, a coalition of civil society organisations in Abuja, is in recognition of their remarkable performance in the growth and development of the FCT. A d d r e s s i n g journalists yesterday at a press

Abuja, was accused of raping a six-year- old girl in his room. The offence, the prosecutor, John Ijabgemi, said was punishable under Section 283 of Penal Code . He pleaded not guilty to the charge. After the arraignment,

Ijabgbemi urged the court to fix a date for the hearing of the case in view of the plea taken by the accused Oniyangi ordered that Dimowo be remanded in Kuje Medium Prison and adjourned the case to February 1, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)

66 personalities, organisations for FCT devt. award in Abuja conference in Gudu District, the spokesman of the organisation, Mr Akakabota Derick said despite overriding challenges, the awardees have left a mark of excellence, hence, they deserved the honour. “For decades, these men and women of integrity toiled day and night to give us a befitting capital city, the pride of Africa. We the Friends of the FCT are proud to be associated with their hallmark of excellence and selfless service towards the strategic advancement of the FCT,” he said. He added that a “society where men and women who ought to have received a white feather to their caps for excellence and remarkable contribution to the growth of a state or a nation

are forgotten and go unrewarded, will ultimately discourage others who are aspiring to contribute to nation building”. He noted that the awardees emerged from a call for nomination from members of the public and the nominations were passed to the screening committee to ensure that they meet eligibility criteria. In his remark, the National President, Comrade Nwali Nelson said that the organisation had always made it a point of duty to call government attention to issues affecting Abuja residents. ”We have given government wake up call, criticise them where they have failed. We have written to them on things affecting residents,” he said

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Two suspects discharged, re-arrested


wo accused persons, Peter Okibe and Adekunle Ogunleye were discharged by Kubwa Upper Area Court in Abuja on Tuesday and rearrested by the police for a fresh offence. Both accused, along with Ameh Adjoyi had been charged to the court on September 15, 2012 on a two-count charge of joint act and attempt to commit a crime. Police prosecutor Igonor Ocholi had told the court that the trio were arrested for forcefully opening a bus belonging to one Ibrahim Kadri in Byazhin, Kubwa, Abuja on September 4. While the first accused pleaded guilty, the second and third pleaded not guilty. The trio had told the court that they were coming from a night club and only entered the bus to shield themselves from rain. The presiding Judge, Alhaji Munir Lawal, had sentenced Okibe to six months imprisonment on each count with the option of N4,000 fine on each count. He then granted the second and third persons bail in the sum of N50,000 each with one surety each in like sum, and adjourned the case to Nov. 20 for continued hearing.

Both accused persons were not able to meet the bail conditions and remained in prison. At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, the prosecutor applied to the court for the termination of the First Information Report (FIR). “Fresh facts have emerged from this case, part of which is that a month before this incident, there was a car theft at the same spot. This will require another full investigation as Peter Okibe is a suspect. I am, therefore, applying for the termination of this particular FIR so that we can re-open the case,’’ he said. The Defence Counsel, Mr Azubike Moneke, of the Legal Aid Council, did not object to the application. He urged the court to treat it with dispatch as the accused persons had been in custody. “Each FIR must disclose a reasonable charge. The accused persons have been in custody for two months over a matter the prosecution is not ready for. This is unacceptable,’’ he said. The Judge granted the prosecutor’s application, struck out the case and discharged the accused persons. They were, however, rearrested by the police. (NAN)



n Abuja Senior Magistrates Court has remanded one Gbenga Isreal, 40 and Elizebeth Isreal, 32, of GRA Mpape, Abuja, in prison for allegedly assaulting and causing bodily harm on one Mrs Rabinatu Adamu. They are to spend 10 days in prison, because they did not


Couple in prison for assault, causing bodily harm on another meet the bail conditions Senior Magistrate Grace Adebayo granted.

The Police Prosecutor, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, told the court that on November 20,

2012 Adam also of GRA Mpape, reported the case to Mpape Police Station. Abdullahi said that the couple were involved in a fight with the complainant and her sister Alira Adamu, who was wounded in the process. He said that as a result of the fight, the accused allegedly stole a Techno cell phone valued at N7,000, a Nokia phone valued at N4,000 and N5,000 cash belonging to the complainant. He said that the offence contravenes the provisions of sections 79 and 247 of the Penal

Code. The accused, however pleaded not guilty to the offence. The senior magistrate granted the accused bail in the sum of N100,000 each with one surety each. But as at the end of the court’s sitting, they were not able to meet the conditions for bail, as nobody came for them. Adebayo, then, ordered that the couple be remanded in prison custody till the next adjourned date of December 10, 2012 for further hearing. (NAN)

Giri community requests for boreholes By Usman shuaibu


A middle-aged carrying load, yesterday in Area 7, Abuja.

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Woman allegedly stabs neighbour to death, attempts suicide


nn Agu, 27, has been arraigned before Justice Ishaq Bello on a two-count charge of stabbing her neighbour, Kemi Agubiade to death and attempting to commit suicide. The Abuja High Court which arraigned the accused, entered a not guilty plea for Agu, who had earlier pleaded guilty to murder charge. Bello said that he entered the

not guilty plea because what the accused was being charged with was a capital offence, which carried severe punishment. Bello, who also discovered that Agu did not have a lawyer to represent her, appointed one for her. The judge asked an Abujabased lawyer, Mr Ifainyi Ogbuona who was in court for another matter to be counsel for Agu.

After the arraignment, the Prosecutor, Mr John Ijabemi, had asked the court to grant him a date to present his witnesses in court in view of the plea entered by the accused. Bello then granted the application and adjourned to February 5, 2013, for further hearing and ordered that the accused be remanded in the Federal Prison Suleja in Niger. (NAN)

Man arraigned for attempting to vandalise car


he Police have arraigned a 20-year-old man, Itua Amofian, of Gwagwa Village, Abuja, before an Abuja Magistrates’ Court for criminal trespass and attempt to commit an offence. The prosecutor, Simon Ibrahim, told the court that on November 24, 2012 one Kingsley Udoh of Lugbe Federal Housing Estate reported the case to the

Utako Police Station. Ibrahim said that on the same date, while the complainant was sleeping inside his vehicle, the accused entered the car with the intention to remove its brain box. He said that during interrogation, the accused confessed to the crime. Ibrahim said the offence contravenes the provisions of Sections 342 and 95 of the Penal

Code. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Magistrate, Mrs Katsina Alu, granted the accused bail in the sum of N50,000 and one surety in like sum. Alu said that the surety must reside within the jurisdiction of the court and adjourned the case to January 25, 2013, for hearing. (NAN)

he village head of Giri in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Mohammed Alabachi, has urged the chairman of the area council, Hon. Zakari Angulu Dobi to sink more boreholes in Giri in order put to arrest the shortage of water faced the residents during the dry season. He also urged the chairman to build a standard hospital in the area to prevent the people from travelling out to search for medical attention. Alabachi, who made this known in an interview with Peoples Daily in his palace in Giri, called on the chairman to repair the dilapidated roads in the area. He appealed to the

chairman to increase his monthly salaries to meet up with the needs of the society and urged the chairman to elevate him to the status of district head. The 50 years old village head begged the administration of Gwagwalada Area Council to purchase official car for him, saying that this would enable him to attend the council’s meeting on time whenever the need arises. He affirmed his determination to co-operate with the administration of the area council to ensure peaceful co-existence in the area. The royal father, therefore, urged the people of the community to continue to tolerant one another for the benefit of peace to reign among them.

NGO boss advises on exclusive breastfeeding By Usman Shuaibu


non-governmental organization (NGO) known as African International Baby Care Initiative (AFRIBABY), has advised nursing mothers to engage in six months exclusive breastfeeding. The President/Founder of AFRIBABY, Dr Oscar Odiboh, stated this in an i n t e r v i e w with newsmen during the opening ceremony of the 5th AFRIBABY Pre-Xmax Expo held at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital in G w a g w a l a d a , urged nursing mothers to deem it fit to immunize their babies for their own good. According to him, the objectives of the initiative is to upgrade, update and professionalize the practice of baby care with the respect to nutrition, timely feeding,

safety, tender care, hygiene and early education. He said that the management of AFRIBABY is in partnership with the government especially the Federal Ministry of Health to protect the lives of nursing mothers. He said that his organization would not hesitate to penetrate into the grassroots to enlighten the rural women on the need to breastfeeding their babies. Odiboh told the gathering that the bill on six months breastfeeding is before the National House of Assembly for deliberations. In his speech, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada, said that his leadership would continue to support the AFRIBABY for its laudable initiative.






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US pledges support for Nigeria’s non-oil exports

Mob: 08033644990

FG to reduce its financial inclusion rate to 20.0 % by 2020, says Sanusi By Muhammad Nasir


he Federal Government has resolved to reduce its financial inclusion rate from 46.3 per cent in 2010 to 20.0 per cent by the year 2020 through the implementation of seven mechanisms. This was contained in a keynote address delivered yesterday by the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, at the 18th Nigerian Economic Summit titled: “Achieving Financial Inclusion in Nigeria” held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. The Central Bank Governor said there are seven mechanisms adopted to reduce the financial inclusion rate among which include the Simplified Risk-Based Tiered Framework, adding that the CBN hopes to transform the “know-your-customer (KYC)” regulation into simplified riskbased tiered framework that allows individuals currently without the required formal identification to come under the banking system. He said the Central Bank of Nigeria will deliver banking services, outside the traditional bank branches, through touchpoints such as retail stores and petrol stations or via technology such as point of sale (POS) devices and mobile phones. “The Central Bank of Nigeria hopes to up-scale the level of awareness of Nigerians on financial products and service under the National Financial Framework and to safeguard the interest of clients and sustain confidence in the financial sector, “We will establish Linkages, through which the CBN would build financial and business cooperation between conventional financial institutions (deposit money banks and development finance institutions), government and microfinance banks/ institutions for wholesale funding and on-lending transactions,”Sanusi noted. The Central Bank Governor also assured that Mobile-Payment System and “Cash-less” Policy, to be done through increasing access to financial services via mobile phones, either directly linked to a bank account or mobile wallets as intermediary virtual money accounts, adding that introduction of credit enhancement schemes and Programmes; the Bank will further empower micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through: Introduction of micro, SMEs development fund, 60% of which will support the on-lending activities of microfinance banks and institutions to women enterprises and clients.

L-R: Executive Director, Metropolitan Construction Limited, Mr. Tony Fagbuaro, Sector Engineer, Office of Public Private Partnership, Lagos state, Mr. Taofeek Kelani, Managing Director, Metroplotan construction company limited, Mr. Carlos Franyi, and special adviser to the governor on public private partnership, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi, during the inspection of the alternative road to the toll plaza 2 in Ikota, Eti-Osa local council area of Lagos state, yesterday. Photo: NAN

Dangote Cement’s Gboko plant shut down By Abdulwahab Isa


anagement of Dangote Cement Plc has f i n a l i z e d arrangements to temporarily close down its four million metric tons per annum’s Gboko Plant, as a result of glut in the cement market. The Group Head, Corporate Communication, Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina, who confirmed this in Lagos said the move was necessitated by the glut in the market arising from the success presently being recorded with the exponential increase in local production of cement and further compounded by continued importation of subsidized cement into the country. He disclosed that the production figure for the first eleven months of the year shows increased local production level with supply now surpassing demand. Total supply of cement to the market at the end of November, according to him, when compared to the same period

last year, has shown a record increase of 11.4 per cent, the highest ever. He said it was therefore disheartening to note that despite the glut in the local cement market, some cement importation, though reduced, have continued, thus calling to question the rigorous implementation of the backward integration policy, introduced to encourage local production. Giving the reason for the choice of BCC for a temporary shutdown, the Dangote Group image maker noted that “…with the dumping of

subsidized imported cement in the South Eastern market, there is no way our Gboko Cement plant can survive. In fact, staffs have been put on forced leave pending when the situation improves.” “Inventory of finished products is beginning to build up at our plants. Don’t forget that projects from our investments of about N280 billion in additional capacity are already on stream, with lines 3 and 4 at Ibese and line 4 at Obajana, coming on stream early this year. Chiejina said other manufacturers are also

Infrastructure Bank set for N1.5bn right issues By Aminu Imam


he Infrastructure Bank Plc at a completion board meeting yesterday said it would issue N1.5 billion right issues to its existing shareholders effective December 17 to January 28, next year. The Bank announced thisd at

ameeting held in Abuja chaired by the Chairman of the Bank, Alhaji Lamis Dikko. The right issue comprised 1,551,500,000 ordinary shares of N1.00 each. The shareholders of the Bank include federal and state governments; local governments and trade unions. He said additional shares

Management Tip of the Day


Motivate disgruntled employees

o one likes to manage unhappy employees. They can be tough to motivate and resistant to change. But giving up isn’t the solution either. Here are three counterintuitive ways to bring your most disillusioned back into the fold:·Try harder to inspire.

experiencing the same problem of low sale and high inventory and called for urgent solutions to the ugly development. Speaking on the development, a renowned financial expert, Bismark Rewane, who is the Chief Executive of Financial Derivatives, expressed worry that government was yet to stop importation of cement despite the increased local production. He expressed concern over the situation in cement industry and urged for a concerted efforts to save the local manufacturers.

Double down on your efforts. Keep the conversation positive. Set expectations high so they’ll become more invested.· Develop them. Don’t leave the underachievers out when distributing stretch assignments. Career development should not focus

only on high potentials.· Take them to lunch. Managers spend more time with people they like, but you may make your unhappy employees feel excluded. Make an effort to spread your attention around. Source: Harvard Business Review

were being offered the shareholders on the basis of one new ordinary share for every ordinary share held as at June 30, 2012. The current authorized share capital of the Bank is N3.1 billion comprising of 3,103,000,000 ordinary shares of N1.00 each. The proceeds of the right issues will be used to provide additional funding for facilitating project finance, debt payment and also enhancing capital working requirements of the Bank. There is currently no specified minimum capital base provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the Bank. Also speaking the Managing Director Adekunle Oyinloye said that is being re-positioning to achieve greater efficiency in the area of infrastructural development.



Compiled by Ayodele Samuel 08063727788



enith Bank has collaborated with MasterCard World to introduce MasterCard Corporate Payment Solutions (CPS)) to the Nigerian private and public sectors. This new collaboration will see Zenith Bank offering MasterCard Corporate Payment Cards to the Nigerian commercial and government sectors to assist them in reducing the cost of cash within their organisations. These cards will also enable them to streamline their processes for authorising, monitoring and reconciling corporate expenditure more efficiently, with a particular focus on the management of travel expenses.



PMG Advisory Services said the decision of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to introduce detailed Transfer Pricing (TP) rules is a landmark decision and a step in the right direction. Transfer Pricing is the price at which goods, services or intellectual property are transferred between company divisions and departments within one country or between related companies of a multinational organisation across international borders. Transfer Pricing is a product of globalisation and international trade. The tax authorities in virtually all major countries are focused on Transfer Pricing as a mechanism for the protection of their tax bases and as a means of ensuring that a reasonable basis is employed to identify and extract economic benefits of business operations in their jurisdictions.

GTB Asset Management


TB Asset Management Limited has announced a change of name to Investment One Financial Services Limited, following a management buyout of the company. Under the new structure, Investment One Financial Services, which was the former investment and wealth management subsidiary of GTB Plc, is currently owned by the staff and management of the company as well as some selected investors. The Managing Director of the company, Nicholas Nyamali, in a press briefing organised to announce the new name and logo in Lagos at the weekend, explained that the name ‘Investment One’ mirrors the organisation’s desire to become ‘a one-stop shop and first point of call for comprehensive investment services, as well as insightful and innovative financial solutions’.

US pledges support for Nigeria’s non-oil exports Stories byAbdulrahmanAbdulraheem and Ayodele Samuel, Lagos he United States govern ment has pledged its con tinued support for Nigeria, especially in the non-oil exports towards improving the country’s economic growth and development. Assistant Secretary of the United States Trade Representative, Ms. Florizelle Lizer, while briefing the press after the 7th Nigeria-US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, (TIFA) Council meeting in Abuja on Monday, said the improvement would mostly affect the non-oil exports.


Lizer, who gave the trade volume between Nigeria and the United States as $39billion said the two countries have renewed their commitments towards increasing the economic, trade and investment relationships. The Assistant Secretary also said the total U.S. imports from Nigeria in 2011 were $33.7 billion, representing a 10.6 per cent increase from 2011 and accounted for 1.5 per cent of total U.S. imports during the period. She said: “Nigeria is one of the important countries in the sub-saharan Africa”, adding that the country “plays important role in economic and politi-

cal development of the entire African region”. The Assistant Secretary therefore promised that the US would work with Nigeria to enhance the current level of trade and investment between the two countries. She listed the areas of interest by the US in Nigeria as the agro-allied, health, trade, exports, pledging to assist the country in meeting its full potentials, particularly in getting at least 67 per cent investment every year. Also speaking, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga said given the

SME revolution: FG Directs BOI, SMEDAN to create five million jobs


he Federal Government is set to reduce the cost of ac cessing funds by SMEs within the lifetime of the current administration, as part of strategic efforts to create jobs, generate wealth and enhance economic growth, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, has said. Aganga, who made this known in Lagos also disclosed that he had already directed the Bank of Industry and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency and other agencies to collaborate on creating about five million jobs within the

next two years. The minister spoke during the third series of the empowerment programme for small and growing businesses titled, “Market Access Nigeria”. The cost of accessing funds to start and run SMEs includes costs associated with securitisation as well as CAC and FIRS processes, among others. With the Presidential directive that the Bank of Industry, which lends at single digit interest rate, be recapitalised, many more SMEs will be able to access cheap funds at minimal costs when the cost-reduction process is com-

pleted. Aganga said that, all over the world, SMEs empowerment had become the main economic growth strategy, considering the high employment generation capacities of SMES, adding that, with about 17million SMEs in Nigeria, the creation of five million jobs was very possible. Aganga said, “Recent data provided by the National MSMEs collaborative survey undertaken by SMEDAN and the National Bureau of Statistics put the number of MSMEs in Nigeria at 17,284,671million, with total employment put at

current global economic meltdown, trade and investment remained the only potent tool for achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth globally. Aganga added that there was a need for Nigeria and the United States to deepen their trade and investment relations, especially in the areas where both countries had comparative and competitive advantage. Aganga said, “In terms of Foreign Direct Investments, Nigeria is now the number one investment destination in Africa; having recorded FDI inflow of $8.9 billion in 2011, about 16 per cent of Africa’s total, estimated at $55billion”. 32,414,884. If each of these SMEs are empowered to create one job each, that makes about 17 million jobs; if 50 per cent of this figure create one job each, that means 8.5 million jobs will be created. “If a quarter of the total are empowered, and they create one job each, over four million jobs will be created. So the figure is workable and conservative and I’ve directed the Parastatals to get it done as a key performance index. Our job is to put structures in place to make it happen.” While encouraging more entrepreneurs to come up with great ideas that could create quality jobs and enhance inclusive economic growth, he said the Federal Government was committed to providing the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

Arik Air begins flight operations to Kinshasa, DRC route today Stories from Ibrahim Kabir Sule & Suleiman Idris, Lagos


rik Air said it is expand ing its regional African network with the addition of new flight services from Lagos, Nigeria to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The first commercial flight on the route takes place today (Wednesday, 5 December 2012) and subsequently operate twice weekly on Wednesday and Sunday. The announcement means Kinshasa has now become Arik Air’s third destination in Central Africa, following the inclusion of flights to Luanda, Angola in 2011 and Douala, Cameroon in August this year. It said that the flight, which would depart from Lagos at 11:10 a.m., would arrive at the N’djili International Airport in Kinshasa at 3:25 p.m. “The return flight will leave Kinshasa at 4:10 p.m. via Douala and arrive in Lagos at 8:25 p.m.,’’ the statement said. It said that the LagosKinshasa route, which would operate on Wednesday and Sunday, would be served with a Boeing 737-700 aircraft.

Arik aircraft on tarmac The airline said the route will be served with a Boeing 737-700 Next Generation aircraft, a two class compartment with a configuration of 12 Business Class seats and 112 Economy Class. Business Class passengers will enjoy a 44" seat pitch with cradle style seats, while Economy Class passengers will have plenty of room on the

flight with a generous seat pitch of 34". Arik Air’s Managing Director/Executive Vice President, Mr. Chris Ndulue said ”Kinshasa is our 12th African destination and this underscores the airline’s commitment to linking the African markets for proper integration of the continent. Kinshasa is the sec-

ond largest city in sub-Saharan Africa and the third largest in the whole continent after Lagos and Cairo. Thus, it is strategically important to link Lagos with Kinshasa. “Arik Air is now firmly established as the largest airline in West and Central Africa as well as the fastest growing in Africa.” Ndulue said.



Irish trade delegation optimistic about Nigerian economy From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


espite the challenges, the Nigerian economy inspires optimism because of its growth potential and the extant opportunities, according to a

visiting trade delegation from the Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom. Irish Minister of Trade and Development Mr Joe Costello observed this in Lagos when he led a team of investors from Ireland to

the Ikorodu plant of dairy and beverage marketer Nutricima Nigeria Limited. The Irish trade delegation was in Nutricima as part of their visit to Nigeria aimed at improving Irish business investments and

interests in the country. Nutricima Nigeria MD Mr. Glentzes Melitis told the team of the growth of the Nutricima business in Nigeria as it builds on its state of the art manufacturing facility in Ikorodu to tap opportunities in the

CBN to empower SMEs through establishment of NISRAL By Muhammad Nasir


he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has pledged to empower small and medium enterprises (SME’s) through the establishment of the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NISRAL), in order to promote value-chain financing. The pledge was made yesterday by the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi at the concluded Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, adding that there would be optimization of the

Entrepreneurship Development Centers (EDCs); increased access of SMEs to the restructuring and refinancing facilities; and Effective implementation of the SME Credit Guarantee Scheme. “Let me reiterate that the financial inclusion document clearly provides the road map for the activities of all stakeholders in the provision of financial services for growth and development of the economy,” Sanusi affirmed. He said banks will adopt some specific models to help drive financial inclusion, such as

agent banking, mobile banking, financial literacy and consumer protection, Point of Sales (POS) services and specialised banking, such as mortgage banking and non-Interest banking among others. The Central Bank Governor noted that the Bank had in the past, introduced various policies and programmes targeted at providing access to finance for the majority of the economically- active population and ensuring that every citizen is integrated into the formal financial system.

Sanusi said the key elements which the policy sets out to achieve assist microfinance banks to set up an apex regulatory body; establish a microfinance certification programme to enhance the capacity of operators in the sub-sector; set up credit bureau; Promote the setting up of rating agencies for Microfinance Banks; establish Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) to provide wholesale funding requirements of Microfinance Banks and Microfinance Institutions for on-lending to micro and medium enterprises.

Winner of Fidelity Bank 25th anniversary promo Hyundai Accent 2012 model, Mohammed Isah Shamsu (left), receiving the car key from District Head of Narayi, Malam Kaduna Auta (right), during the presentation ceremony yesterday in Kaduna. With them is the General Manager North -West, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr Idris Yakubu (middle).

First Bank emerges ‘2012 Nigerian Bank of the Year’ By Aminu Imam


ne of the oldest banks in the country, FirstBank Plc has been announced as winner of the “Bank of the Year in Nigeria 2012” Award by The Banker Magazine, a publication of the Financial Times of London. The award was received by FirstBank’s Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney, from Paul Wallace, Africa Editor of The Banker and Michael Buerk, a former CNN correspondent and award host.

The award ceremony, now in its 13th edition, celebrates the success and major achievements of the world’s leading financial institutions. It was attended by leading players in business and finance circles. The award is regarded as the banking industry’s standard for banking excellence and nominees were judged by their ability to deliver shareholder returns and gain strategic advantage in terms of market visibility and positioning. According to the award committee, FirstBank led the

sector largely due to its sustained topflight performance over the years across several indices. According to the committee, “Its balance sheet, which at the end of September this year stood just shy of $20 billion, grew 23 per cent in 2011. Its net profits rose a particularly impressive 95 per cent to N66 billion ($410 million). This year looks even better, based on interim results.” The committee also noted that FirstBank had begun to focus more on costs and

efficiency in the past two years. “Plenty of emphasis has been placed on cross-selling to generate non-interest revenues, which grew 36 per cent in 2011 to N75 billion. During the same year, it halved its average cost of funds from 3.2 per cent to 1.6 per cent by attracting more lowcost deposits,” it added. The Banker acknowledged that while FirstBank had continued to build its already large network of branches, its recent focus had been on minibranches, which are cheaper than full-service ones.

market with new products and expansion of existing products. Nutricima Limited commenced business in Nigeria in 2005 with manufacturing facilities in Ikorodu, Lagos. It produces and markets high quality nutritious dairy and non-dairy beverages like Nunu, Coast and Olympic milk, Bliss ice teas and fruit milks and Yo! Yoghurt drinks.

Lotteries killing innovations in telecoms industryStakeholder By Chris Alu


elecommunications companies (telcos) have been urged to use their mass market approach to reward customers’ loyalty, rather than promos and lotteries, Wumi Oghoetuoma, Chief Executive of crown Interactive Limited, said he was excited with the ban of promos and lotteries, noting that these stifle innovations among the telcos. “I am excited about it. I thought the telecommunications companies were becoming lottery companies and that they were taking advantage of consumers. It also means that they were taking their eyes off innovation”, he added. Telcos all over the world, he said, invest in innovations “but our telcos here mainly do promos and those type of promos drive addiction.” “The promos and lotteries were impacting on quality of service and those who should be making calls because they needed to make calls or use a service they needed could not, because they were using it for lottery purposes”. As a result of this, he said, money that should be used to provide for the family was being spent on lotteries. People who needed to make calls or use essential services could not because the lines are jammed. Citing examples of loyalty and reward schemes that telcos can be involved in, Oghoetuoma said they can reward their customers with free access to contents rather than promos,or lottery Also Kunle Asukewa said, “Telcos should look more into cross-country rewards, crossindustry collaborations with which I think they can reach their customers and also benefit a wider range of people”. He explained that “many subscribers are getting fed up of the whole thing but now both NCC and National Lottery Commission have suspend Lottery its going to be avery great sign of relief to us”. It could be recalled that last week promos were suspended by the regulatory body, National Lottery Commission till further notice.



Report of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force, Nov 2012 (II) Background and Overview 1.1.



he Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources, driven by the need to strengthen the institutions responsible for Petroleum Revenue Management, commissioned the Petroleum Revenue Special Task force on 28 February 2012. The goal of the Task Force was to support the programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria in enhancing optimization, probity and accountability in the operations of the Petroleum Industry. As part of this agenda and the issues arising from the various fiscal regimes existing in the sector, there arose an urgent need to establish the streams of revenue flows from the Petroleum sector to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and design systems and processes which would enhance the accountability of each agency or e n t i t y . The assignment of the Special Task Force is contained in its Terms of Reference and covers the entire Petroleum Value Chain (see Figure 1). Accordingly, the Task Force set out to confirm if existing systems, laws, processes and functions across the value chain provide reasonable assurance that revenues from the Petroleum Industry are captured, complete, recorded intact, properly accounted for and that revenue due is demanded and collected. In recent times, various studies and public commentary are replete with the alleged low optimisation of the nation's strategic assets in Oil and Gas reserves and questionable practices within the Petroleum Industry. This has led to a degree of dispute with regards to Nigeria’s production information, local consumption figures and remittances to the national treasury and how the pro-

























% growth 















% growth  2000 



theft in particular—is increasingly limiting attractiveness and investments. Observers contend that Nigeria has may have dropped an opportunity to be a top LNG exporter, given more proactive investments by Asian producers and the rise of shale gas in America. Overall, foreign direct investment in Nigeria’s oil sector reduced considerably in the last five years. Second, low investment and an uncertain operating environment could stagnate the sector. Exploration in Nigeria has reduced: three exploratory wells were drilled in 2011, down from more than 20 in 2005. NNPC reports that output from aging on-





ceeds are utilised. Technical and commercial conditions in the sector also argue for maximizing returns from oil and gas. For example, the Task Force received submissions indicating that in the next three years government’s contractual share of profits in most PSCs is due to rise around five percent. While it is hoped that passing the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will unlock investment, the overall trend (without intervention) in oil revenue receipts is toward decline, for three main reasons. First, future demand for Nigerian hydrocarbons looks increasingly mixed. Supply disruptions due to trouble onshore—oil




shore wells is falling 10 to 12 percent a year. Production offshore has been bridging the gap but may soon plateau from lack of new projects and disappointing exploration results. Industry analysts forecast production could drop 20 percent by 2020 without additional investment. Current average daily production is barely at 2005 levels. Reserves and production grew marginally over the past decade, with Nigeria falling well behind its Sub Saharan African neighbours as shown in Table 1 below: Third, the nation's per barrel profits from oil are also shrinking. As reservoirs age, there is need to drill more wells and use costlier technology to keep fields producing. NNPC estimates that by 2014, US$3.7 billion in new drilling costs would be needed annually to simply retain current production levels. Growing use of alternative finance mechanisms reduces government's take onshore. Nigeria also earns less per barrel offshore than it does on land, such that its increased reliance on offshore fields creates a revenue g a p . The current period is thus a pivotal one in the life of the

nation's Petroleum Sector. Without reforms in oil revenue management, Nigeria will struggle to keep its status as Africa's leading oil producer and its goal of becoming one of the world's top 20 economies. However, proactive commitment to reforms now could catalyse sector growth and yield ample funds for national development. This Report of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force is therefore structured to present its key findings and recommendations on the review of the Nigerian Petroleum Sector in terms of major challenges in revenue generation and outstanding debt, revenue loss areas, a cross debt matrix, and automation in the production value chain. Our recommendations have been made to address lapses and leakages; and remedial mechanisms that need to be i m p l e m e n t e d . Within the limited time given to the Special Task Force it has had to prioritise its work to ascertain the items with the highest revenue impact or significance, and bring out the more compelling recommendations to support decisions that will propel the desired transformation of the Petroleum Sector.


Report as at Wednesday, December 5, 2012





AIDS war: Nigerian govt’s commitment and rise in HIV/AIDS prevalence W

orld AIDS Day was celebrated only few days ago, with many African countries telling success stories in the fight against the pandemic that was recently described as “worse than a 3rd world war”. But Nigeria is reporting an increase in the number of infected people including adults and children; there are also children who have been orphaned by the disease. Why despite a significant financial interventions by the United States government other international donors which run into millions of dollars, Nigeria is still not making any progress in this fight, 31 years of the AIDS pandemic exploded and 26 years after the first AIDS case was reported in Nigeria in 1986. The growing prevalence, lamentably, has led to a fall in life expectancy from 53 years in 1990 to 46.5 years in 2008 and 52.02 years in 2012, thus negating positive effects that might have occurred as a result of other improvements in living standards and health care. According to a source at the ministry of health, globally HIV/AIDS epidemic has claimed over 20 million lives, with an estimated 33 million people living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 25 million of these people and Nigeria is home with about 3,130,000 persons infected with the virus. A health expert believes, presently, Nigeria bears the 2nd highest burden of HIV/AIDS in the world, after India. The national HIV sero-prevalence Sentinel Survey result rose from 1.8% in 1991 to 3.8 in 1993, 4.5 in 1995, 5.4 in 1997, and 5.8 in 2001. The prevalence dropped from 5.0% in 2003 to 4.4% in 2005 but rose again to 4.6 in 2008. The 2010 ANC national HIV prevalence figure is 4.1%. It is certain that this country faces a formidable task of tackling a widespread epidemic which has already claimed an estimated 3 million lives and left approximately two million orphans to cater for in the entire world. A growing number of Nigerians, approximately 3.1 million, are said to be infected with the virus and of this population, 1.5 million require anti-retroviral drugs. Recently, Director General of National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Professor John Idoko, at a press briefing organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs and

As the world celebrates World AIDS Day with success stories recorded in some countries suffering from the scourge, the questions Nigerians ask are where we stand and where we go from here, 26 years after the discovery of AIDS. This country, at the moment, ranks 2nd in the league of countries bearing the heaviest burden of the scourge, Maryam Garba Hassan writes. of priority and bad leadership. According to him, while the rest of the world is committed to the fight against HIVAIDS through increased funding, the Nigerian government is slashing the budget meant for the fight. He explained that for Nigeria to adequately address the issue of HIV, it needs $ 250million annually for the prevention and treatment programmes besides the $500 billion coming from the US government annually. He urged the federal government to put aside a

significant amount to fight the disease as there are expectations from the US government which believes the country has the will to achieve that if it chooses to do so. Chief Executive Officer at the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, Dr. Patrick Dakum, said almost 90 percent of the drugs for the virus are purchased with money from the US government. This is not supposed to be so, he said, adding that the Washington’s

task is to take care of the technical aspect while the Nigerian government pays for the drugs. According to Dakum, audit reports show that the funds from the US government are used for the purpose they are meant for because to the advanced countries accountability matters a lot. He said one of the ways Mother To Child Transmission (TMCT) can be addressed is to emphasised on the need for young women to avoid unprotected sex which may

NACA D-G, Prof. John Idoko

President Goodluck Jonathan Social Development, in Abuja, to mark World AIDs Day, said the current national HIV prevalence was 4.1 percent against 6.2 percent 2010 and 5.2 percent in 2011, with more infections in rural areas than urban centres. He said the number of children orphaned was increasing by the day because the care was not reaching them easily. He stressed the need to keep up to date data to enable government plan for affected children and charged the ministry with the responsibility of providing the data. Peoples Daily investigation

reveals that population of people living with HIV is 3.13 million (males 320,000 and females 1,820,000), while the cumulative AIDS deaths stands at 2.1 million (males 970,000, females 1,130,000). Annual death rate stands 215,130 (males 96,740, females 118,390). New infections are 288,180 (adults 133,260, children 154,920) and the total for AIDS orphans stands at 2,229,883. It is alarming that this year alone, according to a NACA report, 2, 193,745 children have been as a result of HIVAIDS and the number is rising by the

day. At an interactive with NEPWHAN and Mentor Mothers (mothers living with HIV/AIDS), organised by the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, to commemorate this year’s World AIDS Day, the Country Director of Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Okey Nwanyanwu, said 30% of babies born in the world with HIV are in Nigeria. He added that in every 10 births, there are 5 new infections, a situation that should have attracted the attention of any good thinking government who has the

interest of its citizens at heart. He said DR Congo, a country that is at war, is making remarkable progress in the fight against HIVAIDS likewise Zimbabwe which is approaching zero tolerance and in the next few years may be free of the scourge. According to him, Zimbabwe achieved this feat by ensuring that citizens pay HIV tax which is judiciously used to combat the disease. Okey, however, said the Nigerian government chose to be where it is today in the fight against the virus as the problem is not that of funding but issue

Health Minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu

result to unwanted pregnancies and encourage pregnant women to go for ante-natal to be tested, treated if tested positive and encouraged to take their drugs while the babies be given prophylaxis to prevent Mother To Child Transmission. It is widely believed that Nigeria is lagging behind in the battle to achieve AIDS free generation because the money the federal government allocates for addressing AIDS is not judiciously used for the purpose as it is always diverted or channeled to other things less important than addressing the disease of HIV. It would be recalled that in 2008, President Olusegun Obasanjo, signed an agreement with the US government whereby he pledged that 50% of the country’s budget for the health sector would be

channelled to the fight, prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. This has not materialised as investigation has revealed that presently what the government is allocating to HIV/AIDS is less than 15%. According experts, challenges of the health care system in the country which needs to be reviewed and its unique structure and population greatly contribute to the increase in the number of infected people and motherto-child transmission. A Mentor Mother leader from Maraba Medical Centre, Stella Obioneje, who spoke to Peoples Daily at the interactive session called on government to “do the right thing” by HIV in the country “before it is too late”. According to her, whatever

affects one child affects all Nigerians and that an affected child can become a burden to the society. As HIV appears to be the major contributing factor for the high population of orphans in the country, especially in rural areas where children lose one or both parents to the disease on a regular basis, government is expected to be committed in this fight if truly it cares about the future of the leaders of tomorrow. With 458 ART centres providing ART and 978 prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) sites providing PMTCT services, still Nigeria ranks as the 2nd HIV leading country in the world. This calls for a lot of soul searching on the part of government, according to stakeholders.




NEMA receives domestic and international supports on emergency T

he National Emergency Management Agency has received a delegation from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) who is in Nigeria to render technical assistance and supports worth millions of dollars to victims of the recent flood disaster in the country. The Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi who received the delegation on Friday in his office noted that various groups have shown concern and great commitment towards the plight of the displaced

people just as the agency is currently working towards confronting hazards associated with harmattan and dry seasons after the rainy days. The Agency’s Head of Public Relations, Yushau Shuaib, quoted the DG as saying, “We are impressed with supports from local and international organisation to the victims of flood disaster. “In our effort to reduce another disaster after the rainfalls, NEMA has activated its early warning against misuse of flammable items

like matches, lights, stoves, electrical appliances and bush burning that could easily trigger fire in home, market, office and farms during harmattan and dry season. We strongly believe that prevention is better than cure.” The leader of the IRC team, Suzanna Tkalec, said that her team has concluded its impact assessment and launched an appeal for provision of about $4 million dollars to provide water sanitisation and livelihood through provision of agricultural inputs and seedlings to the most

vulnerable communities. She said the support which is targeted at over 40,000 households would help those in dare need of humanitarian assistance to recover and rebuild their lives. She added that IRC is a non-sectarian, nongovernmental international relief and development organisation based in the United States, with operations in over 40 countries. In another development, the management of UACN Nigeria Limited has donated food items worth over N10 million to NEMA

for distribution the most affected victims of flood in the country. The Director of Administration and Supply in NEMA, Dr. Muhammad Zanna, while receiving the items restated the commitment of the agency to ensuring transparent distribution to the people in need. The Public Relations Manager of UAC, Mike Asuquo, said the gesture was part of its corporate social responsibility to Nigerians and commended NEMA for discharging its responsibility professionally and responsibly.

...Advocates Bilateral And Multilateral Treaties for Disasters Control


he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has advocated agreement between Nigeria and her neighbouring countries for disaster control. In a keynote address during the second breakfast meeting of the African Center for Supply Chain, Akande Isiaka, who is the South West Zonal Coordinator of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), cited the recently opened Cameroon dams which flooded 21 states in Nigeria, destroyed farmlands and property, as reasons for bilateral and multilateral agreement designed to promote the environmental interests of the parties in agreement. He said Nigerian government was notified by the Cameroonian government just 24 hours before they opened their dams, arguing that if a bilateral or multilateral agreement was in place, Nigeria would have adequately planned and damage by the floods would have been minimised. Mr. Isiaka disclosed that in addition to having a big warehouse that can accommodates 35 trail loads of relief items for disaster victims, the agency is having six zonal offices across the country and is working together with six varsities in the country for manpower training in disaster management. He advised Nigerians to heed early warning, saying: "Nigerians should do away with "It's not my portion syndrome. Even when they have been warned of impending disasters, they remain there until it catches up with them." Meanwhile, the Chief Instructor, Nigerian Army College of Logistics, Lagos Col. Gabriel Akpan, explained that the military takes part in disasters control in addition to its primary role of protecting the country from external aggressions, and also involves in disasters management through its 57 disaster corps units nationwide.

NEMA D-G, Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi (left), receiving a cheque from a local donor on behalf of the victims of recent flood disaster.

NEMA advocates precautions against fire disasters in dry season


he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said it has embarked on pre-emptive measures against any likelihood of future re-occurrence of disasters, including bush and market fire during the harmattan and dry season. In order to achieve this, the Agency, has inaugurated a technical committee to map out the most vulnerable areas in the country. It also warned road users against reckless driving during the

season. Director General NEMA Muhammad Sani-Sidi who disclosed this at the weekend in Abuja solicited the cooperation of the stakeholders and supports of international agencies to protect the communities and build the culture of disaster resilience among the people. He said this while separately receiving in his office a team from the United Kingdom Cabinet Office Briefing Room led by Mr Nick Gibbons and the newly appointed Commander

of the Nigerian Air Force Abuja Camp, Group Captain Joseph Malgwi. He said: “We have mobilised our stakeholders and volunteers to be prepared in the likelihood of massive fire incidents in markets, farmlands and forests in the harmattan and dry season due to indiscriminate storage of inflammable materials and bush burning. “We are closely monitoring the traffic in collaboration with our stakeholders during mass-rush of

gari, 1500 cartons of noodles, 3000 bags of salt , 2000 bags of water, 1500 kegs of palm oil, 7500 bags of sugar, 750 sanitary packs, 250 mattresses and 1000 blankets. Presenting the items, Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Mohammed Sani-Sidi, who is also the Chairman of Group B of the committee, said the committee’s

mandate is to raise funds and donate same to flood victims. According to Sani-Sidi, the committee would require the support of states and local governments in order to get to all the victims. Kaduna State Governor Patrick Yakowa thanked the committee for the gesture, while calling on the Federal Government to assist the state on the dredging of River Kaduna.

...donates to Kaduna flood victims


s part of the Committee setup by the Federal Government to help in the gathering and distribution of relief materials to flood victims in the country, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) at the weekend donated materials worth millions of naira to victims of the disaster in Kaduna State. The items donated include; 1,500 bags of rice, 1500 bags of

commuters in Ember months so as to minimise risks of road accidents that could involve fuel tankers. While mobile ambulances are strategically stationed in prone areas, sensization campaigns are essential to reduce the vulnerabilities.” He said the experiences from the unprecedented flood was a challenge that required synergy among the stakeholders, including the states and local governments as Nigeria has capabilities to address different kinds of disasters given the necessary cooperation and supports. However, Sani-Sidi said the Agency has already developed a National Contingency Plan to guide timely response to any sudden onset emergency in the country. In their separate remarks, Mr Gibbons said his team was at the Agency to explore areas of cooperation to assist the country, while Group Captain Malgwi said the visit was to strengthen existing working relationship between NEMA and the NAF unit.



EMERGENCY UPDATE Nasarawa spends N50m YOUTHS FOR PUBLIC SAFETY to provide relief materials By Abubakar Jimoh


he Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency had spent N50 million to provide relief material for 94, 358 persons flood displaced persons in the state. Dr Abdullahi Idris, the Executive Secretary of the agency announced at a news briefing in Lafia last week Wednesday. He said that the State Government also received N400 million from the Federal Government as intervention grant for the flood victims.

Meanwhile, Dr. Idris refuted the allegation that the money had been kept in a fixed deposit to yield interest for the State Government. According to him, the State Government will set up a taskforce to work out the modalities for the effective utilisation of the special fund. He said that the taskforce would also ensure that all those affected by the flood were reached. The Executive Secretary explained that 122

communities, with a total of 94 358 persons, were displaced while more than 2 000 hectares of farmlands were also destroyed by the flood making the government to plan relocation of the victims from their original place. He explained that apart from the Federal Government’s special funds, the agency had also taken delivery of some materials from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Dangote Foundation.

NEMA D-G, Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi (centre), receiving international delegates on disaster assistance recently in Abuja.

NEMA officials distributing relief materials to victims of recent flood disaster

Before another bomb explosion!


he frequent bomb explosions in recent time in Nigeria have become a daily phenomenon turning the country to Afghan-like economy. This has made life miserable for many families in various part of the country leaving nation wanted like a criminal in the black book of international community. Given the past experiences, the terrorists do not fight or attack on the basis of one-to-one, but disguise in trying to accomplish their mission while using explosive devices that can be detonated at a distance. Such is the fate of the recent explosions at Catholic Church Malali, Kaduna; Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji, Kaduna; and that of Kantin Kwari junction in Kano. The issue has raised serious concerns among most Nigerians; as security personnel, civil servants, political office holders, traders and religious leaders, women, children and elderly people have fallen victims of various attacks by terrorists and no one knows who the next victim might be. Indeed, the Senates have coined the fact that nowhere is safe in the country at the moment. Apart from the above, President Goodluck Jonathan in his recent remark urged the Nigerian Army to intensify efforts and work closely with other security agencies in the fight to defeat terrorism so that its threat would be a thing of the past. This is another signal that nobody is at the moment free of danger from such violent attacks. On this note, the Youths Against Disaster Initiative (YADI) has critically observed that many have become victims of these attacks due to ignorance or failure to exercise precautionary measures that would have prevented them from the dangers. It is noteworthy that higher percentage of recent bomb blasts across the country show that the bombers take advantage of the porous security situation in the country to execute their plans. There is the urgent need to drum more support on security consciousness in the country and everyone becomes a stakeholder in the struggle. While individuals are advised to be vigilant in any given community they found themselves. YADI recommends that it is very vital to plan ahead of time by putting the necessary preventive measures in place so that we can effectively handle bomb threats as well as minimize damages to property and loss of lives whenever they occur. This is achievable if we sustain the systematic vehicle search and build sophisticated barricades at the entrance of public offices, worshipping centres and parks. These include installation of scanner and detector-X-ray

machine, employing metal detectors, and using Inspection Mirror to help detect explosive devices if fixed in a vehicle. The attack at the Headquarters of Anti-Terrorist Unit, Garki Abuja; and the subsequent explosion at Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji, Kaduna have exposed the level of security lapses even at such sensitive government institutions in the country. Some of these attacks could be averted if the government intensifies regular and effective security patrol at strategic spots, and installed Intruder CCTV Camera in sensitive areas like the main entrance, perimeter, reception room, mail room, and other areas for accurate surveillance. Every individual has responsibility towards the nation’s security; as we must take note of unidentified packages, unexpected mails and watch out for strange movements within our community or offices. We must be wary of suspicious appearances and actions as well as cultivate the attitude of reporting to the appropriate authorities any suspicious item discovered around them. Since bombers would like take advantage of busy environments, the security personnel and even individuals should be vigilant in places like markets, schools, hotels, and cinema and take action whenever alarm is raised. Security checks in these areas should be intensified to prevent explosive attacks. In the event of an explosion, people should stay away from the original scene as terrorists like to initiate secondary explosives near, causing more casualties among responding authorities and curios members of the public. Experts have advised that people should keep as far as 300 to 400 hundred feet distance from the depressed zone. There is need to beef-up and streamline the security operative at the entry and exit routes in public gathering domains and conduct thorough search on every vehicle and motorcycle entering places with the appointment of Special Inspectional Task Force to enhance their internal security. Also, we must be aware that sometimes bombers prefer to disguise as travelers to sneak their way into long route commuter vehicles or planes, so as to carry out their deadly mission. Henceforth, thorough search should be conducted on every passengers and luggage, using detective apparatus like the metal detectors, X-ray machine before they could board any vehicle. It would not cost much if the authorities at various parks create a special place where this inspection will be conducted.



Threats to the Nigerian environment E

nvironmental issues continue to dominate our discussions and consciousness as it is now clear that the physical, chemical as well as the biological integrity of our planet is being compromised daily. The destructive processes are not only continuous but are increasing both in quantum and in rate. While some of the impacts such as loss of biodiversity might be gradual, there are hosts of communities around the world today that are being consumed by coastal and gully erosion, sea incursion, bush fires etc. with lives and billions of dollars worth of properties being lost. Since we live in a globalised world, the activities of man in one part of the globe affect the other parts for good or for bad. Unfortunately, the developing countries are having the shorter end of the stick. For instance, even though the massive depletion of the ozone layer is caused by less than 20% of the world’s population living in the Northern Hemisphere, its negative impacts are felt more profoundly by over 60% of the world population in the developing parts of the world by way of drought, sea level rises and coastal erosion. Compared to the rampaging impact of climate change on the continent, Africa’s share of the annual man-made greenhouse gases is only 2-3% of the estimated 6 million metric tones emitted globally. Nigerian Physical Environment Due to its peculiar geographical, geological and geomorphological setting, the Nigerian environmental system is characterized by the combination of natural features that make it uniquely susceptible and highly fragile. In ecological terms, Nigeria is a land of extremes and had remained constantly at risk for ages, with the more recent phenomenon of global warming further accentuating the rate of environmental degradation. Man Made Threats In addition to environmental threats posed by Nigeria’s natural physical setting, there are a number of threats that are related to human activities which have further amplified the country’s vulnerability to environmental degradation. These include: (a) Population Growth and Urbanization The current population of Nigeria is put at 140 million, representing 20% of the entire population of Africa. The population has therefore grown dramatically since the 1952/1953 census when it was 31.5 million. Currently, we have a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 5.7 children per woman, child birth rate of 42 births per thousand, child death rate of 13 per thousand and a rapid population growth rate of 2.9% per year. The United Nations project a population of 289 million for the country by 2050. Apart from population growth, Nigeria has been experiencing increased urbanization over the last five decades. The proportion of the population living in the urban centres has risen from 15% in 1960 to 43.3% in 2000 and is projected to rise to 60% by 2015. Total area

taken up by urbanization in Nigeria during the same period increased by 131% from 2,083 in 1976 to 5,444 with an average rate of urbanization estimated to be 3.7% per year (National Population Commission, 2004). The number of urban centres i.e. settlements with population of 20,000 or more increased from 56 in 1953 to 359 in 1991 and 450 in 2000. The drivers of urbanization in Nigeria include (a) high population growth rate (b) concentration of development activities in urban centres (c) rapid growth of formal education (d) rural-urban wage differentials.‘ One of the major negative impacts of high urbanization is massive waste generation (liquid, gaseous, industrial and domestic) and attendant disposal problems resulting in a threat to the quality of air we breathe and water we consume. In general, there is a clear vicious circle linking high population growth, poverty and ecological degradation. Nigerian cities and towns are mostly horrible examples of unplanned population growth, poor town planning methods, squalor and environmental degradation which cry for immediate action. Population growth has also put a lot of pressure on our forests as the rising farming population seeks for more land for survival. (b) Farming Practice In the tropics, the age-old practice of shifting cultivation (“slash-and-burn”) still persists. As soil fertility declines after a few years, the farmers move to another patch of land, thus decimating large parcels of land that could have been left undisturbed. Unfortunately, we do not have enough of farmer education and encouragement to massively move them to modern techniques. (c) Exploitation for Firewood The survival of rural dwellers and urban poor depends on finding enough wood to cook their meals. At present, fuel wood constitutes the main source of fuel for cooking by over 76% of the Nigerian population. UNDP figures for 1993 showed Nigeria consuming

262,783 metric tonnes of fuel wood compared with 7,210 tonnes for South Africa and 35,313 tonnes for Thailand. While our dependence on fuel wood is rising in Nigeria, it has virtually ceased in the other two countries. At the present rate of fuel wood consumption, cutting may soon convert our forests to savannahs and grasslands. (d) Uncontrolled Logging The global demand for tropical hardwoods is increasing daily. High intensity of logging and illegal exploitation of tree species has continued to pose serious threats to the country’s forest resources and the environment. The use of modern machinery such as tractors, and trucks has made logging even faster and easier, resulting in increasing rate of illegal logging and flitching. These days, illegal loggers are often armed to confront forest guards that dare to stop them. (e) Fire Bush fires have become a major environmental harzard in most parts of Nigeria. Indiscriminate fire is caused by farmers, smokers and hunters who look for game. Through these avoidable practices, thousands of hectares of our forest are lost every year especially during the dry seasons. Unfortunately, our fire services do not have enough capacity in most cases to cope with the intensity of the fires. (f) Petroleum Exploration Activities Extensive exploration and production of petroleum in Nigeria’s sedimentary basins especially in the Niger Delta area has opened up such areas to massive pollution. There is the recurring threat of pollution from normal exploration and production activities such as leakages from pipelines and production platforms. The recent spate of activism in the Niger Delta region has further aggravated this threat as oil thieves now burst into pipelines leaving thousands of barrels of crude oil to flow into the swamps and creeks. The rickety and leaking barges with which the thieves transport their loot also spill huge volumes of crude oil in their trail. The high volume of associated

gas in Nigeria’s light crude coupled with a poor history of investment in gas gathering and utilization infrastructure has made the elimination of gas flaring difficult. The entire Niger Delta area is therefore still covered with gas flares with the attendant pollution of our atmosphere by huge volumes of combustion gases. (g) Open Cast Mining The history of poor open cast mining practices and lack of postmining remediation measures have left large expanses of wasted land in the Nigerian landscape. The Jos Plateau area and several other parts of the country where activities of artisanal miners are flourishing have been severely ravaged with the attendant risks to inhabitants of the areas. Nigeria’s Depreciating Environment The preceding section clearly shows the preponderance of both natural as well as man-made features that have combined to make Nigeria one of the most environmentally stressed regions in the world. The combined effects of these features have resulted in a visible and alarming rate of degradation in our environment, causing great damage to our land and bringing sorrow and poverty to many of our people. (a) Deforestation The continuous removal or destruction of significant areas of forest cover has resulted in a highly degraded environment with attendant reduction in biodiversity. It also causes soil erosion and in marginal lands, can lead to desertification. Nigeria probably has the world’s highest deforestation rate of primary forests today, having lost more than half of its primary forests in the last five years. UNEP in 2006 estimated that annual deforestation in Nigeria covers 663,000ha with an annual national deforestation rate of 0.76%. Deforestation rate in the southwest geopolitical zone is as high as 1.36% which is double the national average. Data on vegetation and land use changes between 1976 and 1995 reveals that the area covered by

undisturbed forests in Nigeria decreased by 53.5% from 25,951sqkm in 1976 to just 12,114sqkm in 1991 (FORMECU, 1998). The major driving factor for deforestation in Nigeria today is the rapidly growing population with attendant higher demand for agricultural land, livestock production and fuel wood. Unfortunately, these demands will continue to increase with the population if nothing drastic is done. The persistence of the age-old practice of shifting cultivation (“slash-and-burn”) will also continue to drive this threat as farmers will continue to move, plundering our forests as the soil fertility in the farms decline. The dependence on fuelwood for cooking by rural dwellers and urban poor further fuels deforestation while uncontrolled and indiscriminate fire by farmers and hunters has also consumed much of our forest cover. With the increasing global demand for tropical hardwoods, many hardwood species are being recklessly exploited from large areas of natural forests and sold in both local and international markets leading to an uncontrolled decimation of our forest resources. In Ondo State for example, more than 44 percent of the 3,075sqklm forest reserve has been lost in the last 30 years due to a combination of activities mentioned above. (b) Desertification Between 50% and 75% of Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara and Yobe States are under threats of desertification. These ten states, with a population of about 27 million people, account for about 38% of the country’s total land area. In these areas, population pressure, resulting in overgrazing, over exploitation for fuel wood of marginal lands and aggravated drought due to global warming has accelerated the rate of desertification. Entire villages and major access roads have been buried under sand dunes in the extreme parts of Katsina, Sokoto, Jigawa, Borno and Yobe States. (c) Soil Erosion In many parts of Nigeria, people have observed with astonishment that due to flood and erosion, some small rills which were crossed with a single footstep some 30 or 40 years ago are now so large as to expose the foundation of their own houses and causing gorges in their neighbourhoods. Although erosion is one of the most critical environmental problems affecting different parts of the country, it is particularly severe in areas of the country underlain by sandy formations. Classical erosion features are found in the states like Edo, Anambra, Imo and Enugu. In Anambra State for example, it affects more than 70% of the State’s land in form of sheet and gully erosion. Indeed, over 550 gullies have been mapped in Anambra State alone, with enormous soil loss and severe threat to agricultural production, homes and other civil structures. Contd. on page 27


By S. W. Fetters Introduction igeria is very conscious of the need to fully utilise her natural resources. Renewable resources such as soils, water and forests, are threatened. They have to be managed to ensure optimal use, to the greatest benefit of the citizenry and in perpetuity. Non-renewable resources particularly need to be managed so that they can be utilised for the longest time possible. Sustainability is, therefore, the essence of natural resources conservation (Mabogunje, 1988). Nigeria’s diverse natural resources endowment derives from the nation’s three principal ecological zones, namely: the highly humid coastal zone in the south; the humid and sub-humid areas in the middle parts of the country; and the semiarid regions in the north. Although divisible into several ecosystems, this tripartite ecological subdivision is adequate for the present purpose, because it broadly corresponds (from south to north) with the tropical rain-forest, the savannah, and the Sudano-Sahelian regions of Nigeria. Soils and Land Use As already shown in the section on biotic resources, Nigeria has a wide diversity of soils under different ecological conditions and with different levels of fertility. On these soils depend agriculture and related primary production activities. This makes soil resources a subject of importance in the drive towards natural resources conservation in the country. The traditional land tenure system and soils management practices involving shifting cultivation, slash-andburn processes and traditional tillage method ensure the maintenance of soil physical properties and the sustainability of productivity.


Contd. from page 26 The degradation caused by erosion in Nigeria is occurring at an increasing and alarming rate, aggravated by such factors as increased agricultural activities, civil construction works, deforestation, bush burning, over grazing, drainage blockage, poor water management, urbanization and increased population pressure. (d) Coastal Erosion Most of Nigeria’s 853km coastline is prone to coastal erosion. This is of grave ecological concern because a large part of Nigeria’s population and economic activities are located within the coastal zone. Nigeria has an estimated population of over 25 million located in its coastal areas with economic activities which include oil and gas exploitation, agriculture, fishing, aquaculture, shipping, industries, and tourism. Over fifty highly vulnerable sites have been identified along the Nigerian coastline and all the eight coastal states are affected by erosion problems. Many coastal communities in estuaries along the coast have had to move upland regularly to escape being washed away by the encroaching sea. For example, studies have revealed a shoreline


Natural resources and environmental conservation However, bulldozing and mechanical tillage (ploughing) subject Nigerian soils to devastating processes such as erosion and the formation of hardpans. In the SudanoSahelian region, overgrazing poses a serious additional threat contributing to desertificalion and wind erosion. This came to a peak during the recent prolonged drought of about 10 years from (1970 to 1980) (Qadzama, 1991). Defores- tation, whether resulting from the demands of ani- mal husbandry, the cutting of wood or the incidence of bush burning, usually produces soil degradation and infertility. Erosion poses the greatest threat to Nigerian soils, and affects over 80 per cent of the land (NEST, 1991). Wind, sheet, gully and beach erosion affect different parts of the country in varying intensities, but attention will focus here on erosion menace to agricultural land. While wind erosion is confined to the arid north, sheet erosion is ubiquitous throughout the country. Areas most prone to sheetwash are where farming has cleared the original vegetation, and the soils being impoverished, become scrubland. But gully erosion is by far the most alarming type of erosion in Nigeria, because it often threatens settlements and roads. Although it affects a small fraction (less than 0.1 per cent) of Nigeria’s 924,000 sq. km of landmass, gully erosion claims large amounts of public funds annually for remedial action. Gullying is particularly severe in the loose sandy terrain of southeastern Nigeria where

torrential rains prevail. The usual causes of gully erosion, which need to be avoided, include bad farming practices such as improper tillage and monoculture; quarrying for sand and gravel; lack of road drainage; mischannelling of storm runoff; deforestation, especially of watersheds; incision of rural foot paths leading to stream water supply sources, and the lack of road maintenance. For anti-erosion measures to succeed, these environ- mental abuses must be discouraged, especially

through public enlightenment. Soil and land conservation must, however, transcend the prevention of the above abuses, most of which arise from the innocent use of soils for peasant cultivation. Mining and mineral processing are equally devastating to land and water supply. Open-cast tin mining on the Jos Plateau has produced pits and mine tailings which despoil the land- scape. Soil conservation, therefore, includes the

reclamation of mined land and quarry sites. Coastal environmental protection is also a vital subset of land resources management, because Nigeria occupies 800 km of the Equatorial Atlantic sea-board. The Bar Beach on the Victoria Island ocean front is threatened by rapid beach erosion. Also, because of petroleum production, the Niger Delta has been most vulnerable to oil spillage. Shoreline erosion and flooding constitute major coastal hazards that have threatened or destroyed settlements, harbour works, oil production facilities, and coastal agricultural and recreational land. Annually, some 13m to 30m of the Nigerian coast land is lost to beach erosion caused by both natural and human agents. Among the natural causes of beach erosion are large storm waves; destructive littoral currents; the low-lying microtidal and mesotidal nature of the coastline; the easily eroded nature of coastal sediments; strong tidal currents and global eustatic sea-level rise. Human actions that have exacerbated the destructive impact of nature along the shoreline include harbour protection structures (e.g. Victoria and Escravos Beaches). While nourishing one segment of the shoreline, beach protection structures often starve other parts of the coast line of sediments, thus triggering erosion. The coastline is also affected by sand dredging, and the damming of rivers in the hinterland which hitherto had supplied enough sediments to the coast to replenish what is lost to the forces of nature.

contributes a substantial quota to Nigeria’s environmental pollution. Between 1976 and 1997, more than 2,676 separate oil pipeline spill incidents were reported in the country. Equipment malfunctioning, corrosion of aged pipelines, sabotage of oil installations by militants and oil thieves are the major drivers of this phenomenon. Perhaps the most intractable of the petroleum industry related pollution is gas flaring, the stoppage of which has continued to remain elusive despite numerous attempts at regulation. As a by-product of oil production, Nigeria flares more gas than any other country in the world, as close to 80% of the associated gas produced from Nigeria’s oil fields are flared. Global estimates also show that flaring of Nigeria’s gas contributes significantly to the world’s carbon dioxide emission. (f) Solid Wastes Solid waste management has emerged as a major environmental threat for cities in developing countries worldwide (Van de Klundert et al 2003). In a survey released by UNDP in 1997, 151 mayors from around the world

ranked insufficient solid waste disposal as their second most urgent urban challenges surpassed only by unemployment and followed by urban poverty. Solid waste management has gained notoriety in Nigeria today because of its visibility and the embarrassment it has constituted to the image of the nation. Only few state capitals have been able to put in place fairly sustainable urban waste management programmes. It is therefore a common site to find mountains of waste scattered all over our cities for days or even weeks with no apparent effort displayed at getting rid of them, even with the attendant risk of air and ground-water pollution. (g) Mining Waste-land In many parts of the country mining wastelands have now become very hazardous for people in neighbourhoods where open cast activities have taken place. When mining pits are filled with water from tailings, they become stagnant pools and thus constitute a significant environmental threat as they become breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other pests. In Plateau State for example,

thousands of heaps of mine wastes which are now found to be radioactive were abandoned after the decline of tin mining many years back. Health officials of the state have reported that laboratory analyses of the 1,100 abandoned mines scattered over five districts showed the presence of radioactive materials at concentrations that are harmful to human health and that the inhabitants here stand the risks of skin, lung and liver cancer as well as eye impairments from prolonged exposure to these radioactive wastes. Yet, these piles of the dangerous wastes remain unattended to. Mine pits by artisanal and small scale miners of gemstones in IjeroEkiti, Nassarawa, Olode, Shaki, Jos, Keffi, Akwanga and other parts of Nigeria also create huge environmental hazards to farmers as many of them have been accidentally buried in abandoned pits and shafts Culled from: NIGERIA ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES at http:// 2010/01/threats-to-nigerianenvironment.html

Minister of Environment, Hajiya Hadiza Jibril Mailafiya

Threats to the Nigerian environment retreat of 1.5km at Awoye/Molume coastline in Ondo State between 1971 and 1991 (Ibe, 1986, French et al, 1992 & 1993). The driving force of coastal erosion include (a) low-lying, relatively flat coastal topography which restrains proper drainage (b) climate change leading to rise in sea level (c)reckless cutting down of mangroves which exposes the shoreline to increased energy and reduce sediment stability and (d) sand mining and dredging around beaches which deplete sand volume. (e) Pollution Municipal and industrial pollution is a major environmental problem in Nigeria as most cities lack proper solid waste management schemes and the monitoring and control of industrial waste is inefficient. Even with its relatively low level of industrialization, industrial waste pollution is a major problem in Nigeria. In many cases, effluents from industrial processes are simply allowed to flow into public drains and rivers where they can percolate into surface or ground water. The petroleum industry



The President's emergency plan for AIDS relief (PEPFAR) Blueprint: Creating an AIDS-free generation ANALYSIS


n November 8, 2011, Secretary Clinton declared that, for the first time in history, the world is at the point where an AIDS-free generation is in sight. And at the July 2012 International AIDS Conference, the Secretary called on the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to produce a blueprint outlining how the United States will contribute to reaching this goal. Secretary Clinton defined an AIDSfree generation as one where virtually no children are born with HIV; where, as these children become teenagers and adults, they are at far lower risk of becoming infected than they would be today; and where those who do acquire HIV have access to treatment that helps prevent them from developing AIDS and passing the virus on to others. Creating an AIDS-free generation is an ambitious, but reachable, goal--and now a policy imperative of the United States. The PEPFAR Blueprint: Creating an AIDS-free Generation reflects lessons learned from almost ten years of experience in supporting countries to rapidly scale-up HIV prevention, treatment and care services. It demonstrates the opportunity for the world to help move more countries toward and beyond the tipping point in their epidemics and put them on a path to achieving an AIDS-free generation. The blueprint makes clear that the United States' commitment to this goal will remain strong, comprehensive and driven by science. It clearly outlines what PEPFAR is doing, and will continue to do, to help make it a reality. The blueprint also emphasizes that it will take a shared responsibility to create an AIDS-free generation. The United States leads the world in contributions in the fight against AIDS, having invested over $37 billion to date in bilateral funding and over $7 billion in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. However, the United States alone cannot achieve an AIDS-free generation. It requires the commitment of partner countries, reinforced with support from donor nations, civil society, people living with HIV, faith-based organizations, the private sector, foundations and multilateral institutions. It means investing in the principle of country ownership--the end state in which partner countries lead, manage, coordinate and over time increasingly finance the efforts needed to achieve an AIDS-free generation in order to ensure that the AIDS response is effective, efficient and durable. Scientific advances and their successful implementation have brought the world to a tipping point in the fight against AIDS. The United States believes that by making smart investments based on sound science and a shared global responsibility, we can save millions of lives and achieve an AIDS-free generation. To fulfill this vision, PEPFAR has based its blueprint on the following principles: Make strategic, scientifically sound investments to rapidly scale-up core HIV prevention, treatment and care interventions and maximize impact. Work with partner countries,

"The goal of an AIDS-free generation may be ambitious, but it is possible with the knowledge and interventions we have right now. And that is something we've never been able to say without qualification before. Imagine what the world will look like when we succeed." - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, November 8, 2011

Hilary Clinton donor nations, civil society, people living with HIV, faith-based organizations, the private sector, foundations and multilateral institutions to effectively mobilize, coordinate and efficiently utilize resources to expand high-impact strategies, saving more lives sooner. Focus on women and girls to increase gender equality in HIV services. These principles drive all of PEPFAR's work and are the foundation for the road maps that comprise the blueprint. Each road map--the Road Map for Saving Lives; the Road Map for Smart Investments; the Road Map for Shared Responsibility; and the Road Map for Driving Results with Science-contains specific goals and comprehensive action and implementation steps on how PEPFAR will support partner countries' efforts to meet these goals. This road map addresses Secretary Clinton's call in her November 8, 2011 speech to scaleup combination HIV prevention and treatment interventions to save more lives. Specifically, this road map outlines PEPFAR's plan to: Work toward the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers

alive. Increase coverage of HIV treatment both to reduce AIDSrelated mortality and to enhance HIV prevention. Increase the number of males who are circumcised for HIV prevention. Increase access to, and uptake of, HIV testing and counseling, condoms and other evidence-based, appropriately-targeted prevention interventions. Through its continued support for scale-up of combination prevention and treatment interventions in high-burden countries, PEPFAR will help countries reduce new HIV infections and decrease AIDS-related mortality, while simultaneously increasing the capacity of countries to sustain and support these efforts over time. This support will, in turn, move more countries past the programmatic tipping point in their HIV epidemics-the point at which the annual increase in new patients on antiretroviral treatment (ART) exceeds annual new HIV infections-and put them on the path toward achieving an AIDS-free generation. PEPFAR will also continue to lead efforts to strengthen the Global Fund, which leverages U.S. contributions


with contributions from other donors. This road map outlines how PEPFAR will follow the epidemic, invest in evidence-based interventions, and continue to generate greater value for money in its investments. Specifically, this road map outlines PEPFAR's plan to: Target HIV-associated tuberculosis (TB) and reduce co-morbidity and mortality, Increase access to, and uptake of, HIV services by key populations, Partner with people living with HIV to design, manage and implement HIV programs to ensure that they are responsive to, and respectful of, their needs, Strengthen PEPFAR's continued focus on women, girls and gender equality, Reach orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) affected by AIDS, and support programs that help them develop to their full potential, Strengthen programmatic commitment to and emphasis on reaching and supporting young people with HIV services, Strengthen PEPFAR supply chains and business processes to increase the efficiency of our investments, Increase efficiencies through innovation and greater integrations of services with other U.S., bilateral and

The goal of creating an AIDS-free generation is a shared responsibility with partner countries in a convening role. Neither the United States nor any other single entity cannot accomplish this goal alone.

multilateral global health investments. The goal of creating an AIDS-free generation is a shared responsibility with partner countries in a convening role. Neither the United States nor any other single entity cannot accomplish this goal alone. Rather, it requires a country to demonstrate political will and effective coordination of multiple partners that finance and carry out interventions both inside and outside of the health sector, and most importantly, meaningfully involve those living with and affected by HIV in all aspects of the response. Specifically, this road map outlines PEPFAR's plan to: Partner with countries in a joint move toward country-led, managed and implemented responses, Increase support for civil society as a partner in the global AIDS response, Expand collaboration with multilateral and bilateral partners, Increase private sector mobilization toward an AIDS-free generation, Road Map for Driving Results with Science Scientific advances have brought the world to the point where calling for an AIDS-free generation is possible. And it is science that will underpin all PEPFAR efforts to help achieve this goal and save even more lives. To deliver the greatest response, PEPFAR will continue to support programs guided by scientific evidence. PEPFAR will go to where the science leads, translating science into program impact. Specifically, this road map outlines PEPFAR's plan to: Leverage greatest impact by continuing to invest in implementation science, Support implementation research, Evaluate the efficacy of optimized combination prevention, Support innovative research to develop new technologies for prevention (e.g., microbicides, vaccines) and care (e.g., new treatments or treatment regimens), Develop evidence-based approaches to reaching people early enough in their disease progression to help maintain a strong immune system; stave off opportunistic infections, particularly TB; and reduce new HIV infections, Support the deployment of suitable technology for measurement of viral load, both through tiered laboratory networks and 'point-of-care' tests as they become available Assist countries in adopting breakthrough new technologies with proven impact, such as new, molecular-based TB tests that have dramatically reduced diagnosis and treatment time for people living with TB and HIV. Source:



Ethiopia PM willing to talk to Eritrea


Mali rebels agree to respect 'national unity'


he Malian government and two rebel groups have agreed to respect the country's "national unity", after holding their first talks to try and end a crisis that has seen the west African country effectively split in two. Delegations from the government, the Islamist Ansar Dine and the Tuareg Azawad National Liberation Movement (known by its French acronym, MNLA) agreed "on the respect for Mali's national unity and territorial integrity", and "on the rejection of any form of extremism and terrorism" they said in a statement after the talks in Burkina Faso. Tuesday's talks in Ouagadougou were organised by Blaise Compaore, the president of Burkina Faso and west Africa's top mediator for the crisis. The rebel groups control much of the north of the country, which they have termed Azawad and earlier declared to be independent of the national government. The talks came as the African Union and Chad issued renewed calls for the United Nations to authorise military intervention to retake northern Mali. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has said it is ready to deploy 3,300 troops once it has approval from the United Nations, which is expected to decide sometime next month. Alassane Outtara, the president of the Ivory Coast, said on Tuesday that armed intervention in Mali was "indispensable" and "[should be done] in the shortest timeframe". "Political dialogue is certainly needed but a military intervention seems to me indispensable and [should be done] in the shortest timeframe," Ouattara said in Paris following talks with French President Francois Hollande. In Ouagadougou, Compaore separately met Ansar Dine and MNLA representatives on Tuesday, a day after sitting down with the Bamako envoys. Moussa Ag Assarid, a spokesperson for the MNLA, told the AFP news agency that the meeting "went very well". "No commitments were made, other than to get together around the same negotiating table," he said.

ailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia's prime minister, has said that he is willing to hold talks with neighbouring Eritrea, with whom Addis Ababa fought a border war that ended in 2000. If Desalgen follows through with Wednesday's statement, it will be the first time a leader in Addis Ababa has held talks with Issaias Afeworki, the Eritrean president, since the end of the conflict which left at least 70,000 people dead. "If you ask me, 'Do you want to go to Asmara and sit down and negotiate with Isaias Afwerki?' Then, I will say yes'," Hailemariam said in an interview with Al Jazeera to be broadcast on Saturday. The two countries remain at odds over the flashpoint town of Badme, awarded to Eritrea by a UN-backed

boundary commission, but still controlled by Ethiopia. "The most important thing for us is to fight poverty ... to

have regional integration. If we two do that, it will be much more productive," Hailemariam added.

Hailemariam Desalegn

Egypt referendum 'will go ahead'


gypt's Vice President Mahmoud Mekki has insisted that a referendum on a controversial draft constitution will go ahead, despite growing protests. Rival protests are being held outside the presidential palace in Cairo, with clashes reported between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi.

Mr Mekki said protests were not a way out of the crisis, and that the "door for dialogue" remained open. Critics of the draft say it does not do enough to protect political freedoms. Mr Morsi's opponents are also angry about a recent a decree he passed granting himself wideranging new powers. In a news conference

A protester outside the Presidential palace in Cairo

broadcast live on state television, Mr Mekki said the referendum would go ahead as planned on 15 December. "There is real political will to pass the current period and respond to the demands of the public," he said. "The door for dialogue is open for those who object to the draft of the constitution," he added. A spokesman for President Morsi said security forces had been ordered to show restraint and not respond to violence. Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement has called on its supporters to rally outside the presidential palace in the the capital, to counter protests by opponents, some of whom have erected tents around the perimeter wall. There were reports of stonethrowing, and of Morsi supporters dismantling some of the tents. On Tuesday, tens of thousands of demonstrators besieged the palace, clashing

Eritrea won independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a 30-year struggle, that is considered among the continent's longest and most bitter. Hailemariam, who took office after longtime ruler Meles Zenawi died in August, said that reaching out to Asmara was following the policy of his predecessor. "My predecessor Meles Zenawi had asked for more than 50 times even to go to Asmara and negotiate with Mister Isaias Afwerki," he said. Ethiopia and Eritrea routinely accuse each other of backing armed groups to destabilise the other. In March, Ethiopia attacked an Eritrean military base after the killing of five European tourists in blamed on Asmara. with police who fired tear gas. Eighteen people were slightly injured in the brief burst of violence, the official Mena news agency reported. At one point, the security forces issued a televised statement saying President Morsi had left the building. Many of those gathered outside the palace, in the suburb of Heliopolis, chanted slogans similar to those directed against the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak during the uprising in February 2011. A sizeable crowd of protesters also turned out in Egypt's second city Alexandria. 'Rights unprotected' The BBC's Jon Leyne, in Cairo, says that this latest unrest adds a new twist to the already mounting crisis. President Morsi adopted sweeping new powers in a decree on 22 November, and stripped the judiciary of any power to challenge his decisions. He has also called a nationwide referendum for 15 December on a new constitution, which opponents say has been

Kenyan Prime Minister launches coalition to take on rivals


enyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said on Tuesday he would join forces with the country's vice president in next year's election, to challenge another alliance headed by two senior politicians facing charges of crimes against humanity. Odinga, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and several other cabinet ministers danced in front of thousands of supporters in the Kenyan capital to launch their electoral pact. The March 4 poll will be the first under a new constitution and the first since the 2007 vote that triggered ethnic killings across the country. The main challenge to the Odinga-Musyoka ticket will be the alliance formed on Sunday between deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former cabinet minister William Ruto. Both Kenyatta and Ruto have

been indicted by the International Criminal Court for allegedly inciting the post-election violence that convulsed the region's biggest economy. The formation of the two alliances follows months of horse trading between leading politicians in a country where allegiances tend to follow tribal lines. Political alliances also tend to be based on the numbers of supporters each side can bring to the union, rather than shared ideology. "We have created the only kind of coalition that can work, a coalition of the willing," Odinga said in a statement launching the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD). The deal unites Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party, Musyoka's Wiper party and 12 other political movements. Commentators said Musyoka had little choice but to enter his alliance after talks broke down with

Kenyatta-Ruto ticket, which brought together the powerful Kikuyu and the Kalenjin communities. Both Musyoka, who comes from the Kamba ethnic community, and Odinga, a Luo, ran for president in the last election. Their rivalry carried on in the coalition government brokered by former U.N. chief Kofi Annan to end the postelection fighting. They bickered over who had the most senior position in the government and were also at odds over the ICC's involvement in investigating the violence. Odinga supported it while Musyoka shuttled around Africa lobbying governments to back a referral of the cases back home. "Whatever they came up with can only be summed up as political nonsense for now," said Mutahi Ngunyi, a Nairobi-based political analyst.

Raila Odinga


Asia and Middle East


hina led developing nations on Wednesday in demanding rich countries give details of a promised surge in aid to $100 billion a year by 2020 to help the poor cope with global warming. But most rich nations, facing


China demands timetable to $100 billion climate aid for developing world economic slowdown at home that cut overall development aid in 2011, said they were unable to stake out a timetable for rising aid at deadlocked global climate talks. "The core issue is finance," Xie Zhenhua, head of China's

delegation, told a news conference of a main track of the November 26-December 7 talks among 200 nations in Doha, Qatar, that is a big block to a modest deal to keep U.N. climate efforts on track.

He said a deal on finance would "create very good conditions for the settlement of other issues" in Doha, which is also seeking a symbolic extension of the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol for curbing greenhouse gas emissions

by rich nations beyond 2012. "Without figures on the table we are not going to have a package," Pa Ousman Jarju of Gambia, who chairs the group of least developed nations, said of calls for new finance.

Indian government wins controversial foreign retail vote


ndia's government has won a crucial vote in parliament on its controversial plans to open the retail sector to foreign competition. After a two-day heated debate, MPs in the Lok Sabha (lower house) approved the plan to allow foreign investment of up to 51% in multibrand retail. Parliament, which was deadlocked over the issue, resumed business this week after the government agreed to a vote. The win will help the government push ahead with further economic reforms. Opposition parties say allowing foreign supermarket chains to set up will put small shops out of business and hurt the poor.

Xie Zhenhua

Kuwait Prime Minister reappointed


Indian MP's in the lower house during the debate at the parliment

The government says the reforms are needed to revive the slowing economy. The government victory in the Lok Sabha came about after MPs from the regional Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party walked out ahead of the vote, bringing down the majority required for them to win. While 253 MPs voted in favour of opening up the retail sector, 218 MPs voted against it. During the debate on Wednesday, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma defended Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail. The decision was not taken by the government overnight, he said, and was only made after it had consulted "all stakeholders".

he emir of Kuwait has reappointed Sheikh Jaber alMubarak al-Sabah as prime minister, after a parliamentary election boycotted by the opposition. He had submitted the resignation of his five-month-old cabinet to Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah on Monday, as required by the constitution. Sheikh Jaber must form a new government before parliament sits on 16 December. The opposition boycotted Saturday's polls in protest at electoral law amendments made by the emir in October. The changes included a reduction in the number of votes cast by each Kuwaiti from four to one. Critics said they were unconstitutional and gave progovernment candidates an advantage.

More than half of the candidates elected to the National Assembly were new, results released on Sunday showed. Shia candidates won about a third of the seats and women three. Turnout was 40.3%, the lowest since elections were first held in 1964. Sheikh Jaber, a 70-year-old former defence minister, became prime minister in late 2011 after his predecessor, Sheikh Nasser alMohammad al-Sabah, resigned amid a crisis over corruption allegations. He was reappointed following snap parliamentary elections in February, in which the Islamist-led opposition made significant gains. Relations between the government and opposition deteriorated in June when the Constitutional Court declared February's polls illegal and reinstated the previous parliament.

Deadly clashes erupt in Lebanon's Tripoli


Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah

t least four people have been killed and dozens injured over the past two days in clashes in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli between gunmen loyal to opposing sides in neighbouring Syria's conflict, security officials have said. The fighting on Tuesday and Wednesday in the port city has pitted Sunni Muslim districts against areas housing Alawites, from the same religious community as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Lebanese army sent out patrols in areas separating the two sides. Tensions had been building since the reported killing last week of 21 Lebanese from Tripoli, and one

Palestinian, in the town of Tal Kalakh in the central Syrian province of Homs near the border. They appeared to have joined fighters involved in a 21-month-old revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Syrian state television had shown graphic apparent footage of the dead men, riddled with bullet wounds and lying in the grass. Adnan Mansour, Lebanon's foreign minister, asked the Syrian ambassador to hand over the bodies of the men after their families protested in Tripoli, demanding the Lebanese government return the corpses and determine the whereabouts of the missing.



Europe and Americas Serbia Nato envoy 'jumps to death'

Dozens of Rio policemen held over drug lords' bribes


he Serbian ambassador to NATO has died after jumping from an airport car park in the Belgian capital Brussels, media reports say. The Serbian foreign ministry confirmed that Branislav Milinkovic, 52, had died, but did not give details. It paid tribute to his work. Media reports said he jumped in front of Serbian officials on Tuesday night, who had arrived in Brussels for diplomatic talks. Serbia is not a member of the alliance. The incident happened at around 18:00 (17:00 GMT) on Tuesday night, a source at Brussels airport said, according to the Belga news agency. Emergency services were called to the scene, but were not able to revive Mr Milinkovic, the agency said. Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement that he was "deeply saddened" by the news. "Ambassador Branislav Milinkovic was a highly respected representative of his country and will be missed at Nato headquarters," Mr Rasmussen said.

Late Branislav Milinkovic

Arrested officers arrive at the police headquarters in Rio de Janeiro


he authorities in Brazil have arrested 60 policemen accused of receiving regular payments from drug dealers to turn a blind eye to their activities in several shanty towns of Rio de

Janeiro. Eleven suspected drug dealers from Rio's main criminal gang the Red Command - were also arrested. The policemen also sold

weapons to the gangs, investigators said. Rio authorities have been trying to reduce crime in the city ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

Rio Military Police commander, Erir Ribeiro Costa Filho, said all officers involved would be expelled from the force. "We can no longer put up with corrupt policemen in our force," he said. The operation, dubbed Purification, began in the early hours of the day in Duque de Caxias, in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. Kidnappings Seventy people have been arrested, 12 others - including police officers and alleged drug dealers - are on the run. Investigations began a year ago. According to Globo TV, each police officer is accused of receiving 1,500 to 2,500 reais in bribes per week ($700 to $1,200; ÂŁ450 to ÂŁ750). Prosecutors say the policemen were paid to overlook criminal activities in 13 slums of Duque de Caxias, a populous working class city that is part of Greater Rio de Janeiro. They also allege that police offers got involved in a number of other criminal activities kidnapping drug dealers and their relatives for ransom, and conducting security operations against them if they failed to pay the bribes.

Ireland budget: Local property tax introduced


he Irish government has announced a fresh package of spending cuts and tax rises worth billions of euros in its budget for 2013. These include a new property tax of 0.18% of the value of a home up to 1m euros ($1.3m; ÂŁ800,000). These are the latest in a long line of austerity measures imposed on Ireland by international lenders that bailed out the country in 2010. The government said it would meet its deficit reduction target for this year. "There are manifest signs that the country is emerging from the worst of the crisis and that the efforts of the Irish people, despite the hardship, are leading to success," said Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

Protesters with placards in a peaceful martch in Dublin.

NATO must 'step up' for Afghanistan- Clinton


illary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has called on NATO allies to stand by

their funding commitments to Afghanistan following the December 2014 international troop withdrawal.

US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton

Speaking at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels on Wednesday, Clinton reminded austerity-hit European nations of their commitments to the $4.1bn pledged annually to the Central Asian nation after foreign forces end their combat role. "It will be crucial for every nation to follow through on their commitments, and for those who haven't yet committed any funding to do so," Clinton said at the meeting of countries contributing to the NATO-led military mission in Afghanistan. With 35 per cent unemployment and an impending April 2014 presidential election, Clinton also stressed the importance of economic

and political transition in Afghanistan. Thus far, donor nations have pledged $16bn to support the political transition and stabilising the economy. Clinton went on to say that regional support will be important to a successful transition in Afghanistan. "Every nation in the region has a stake in Afghanistan's future and a responsibility to step up and help secure it," she said. The Afghan government has often blamed neighbouring nations, particularly Pakistan and Iran, for security and political stumbles. Guido Westerwelle, German foreign minister, said even struggling European nations must follow through on their promises to the Kabul leadership.

"Of course that is not easy during times of tightening purse strings," he said. "But it is in the interest of European citizens. That is why I am making sure that the commitments made are kept." Janan Mosazai, Afghan foreign ministry spokesman, said though Kabul understands the financial strain these pledges may place on donor nations, it will be "an investment". "In our view, that is an efficient, a cost-effective investment in the longterm security that the people of Afghanistan and the people of the wider region and the international community share with each other and we will count on the continued full support of the international community on those pledges," he said.



Armed robber recognizes victim from prison, lets him go A

Kansas robber who tried to steal a man's cell phone and wallet at gunpoint apologized and let him go after realizing the two had served time together. Now that's what friends are for. The victim, a Wichita man, claimed that two men armed with a semi-automatic handgun approached him on the street late Wednesday and demanded his phone and wallet, according to Wichita police. When one of the robbers was searc hing the man's pockets, the two realized they had served prison time together before, police said. The robber reportedly apologized, shook the victim's hand and walked away. Nevertheless, the victim reported the incident to police, but said he didn't think he could identify the robbers in a line-up, police told Reuters.

A Kansas robber gave back his victim's wallet and cell phone after realizing the man had served time with him before.

Man travels the globe without flying


British man who went on a four-year odyssey has become the first person to travel to all 201 sovereign states in the world without flying, theChristian Science Monitor

reported. Graham Hughes, 33, arrived in South Sudan early Monday, capping off his 1,426day journey. A Liverpool native, Hughes traveled 160,000 miles

A British man on Monday became the first person to travel to all 201 sovereign states in the world without flying.

using only buses, boats, taxis, trains and his own two feet, the Monitor said. He also managed the trip on less than $100 a week. Hughes told the Monitor he decided to attempt the trip without flying to "see if this could be done by one person traveling on a shoestring." Some highlights included: swimming in a lake of jellyfish in the Pacific archipelago of Palau, seeing a NASA space shuttle launch, dancing with the jungle tribes of Papua New Guinea. The challenges: traveling home to be with family after his older sister's death midway through the trip, being jailed for six days in the Democratic Republic of the Congo because officials suspected he was a spy, and navigating island countries amidst pirate threats. Hughes' experiences were filmed as part of a documentary. Hughes will stay in South Sudan until Wednesday before beginning his trek home to Liverpool. In an effort to "keep in the spirit of adventure," he will not be flying, the Monitor said.

Monkey business: primates want equal pay too


t sounds like monkey business. But a study of primates by researchers at Emory University in the US has found that capuchin monkeys care about equal pay for equal work. In a TED presentation, primatologist Frans de Waal shows video of an experiment where two monkeys are fed. At first both monkeys are given grapes and they are very satisfied. But when one the primates is fed cucumber while the other is provided delicious grapes in plain sight, the monkey dealt the less delicious hand is not

pleased. The cucumber recipient goes ape, rattling on his plastic fence in rage. The primate behaviour expert Frans de Waal compared the monkeys' behaviour to humans who participated in the Occupy Wall St movement. "That's basically the Wall St protest right there," he said. Human kind is not being treated so well either, figures from the Bureau of Statistics indicate. Australian men earned 17.4 per cent more than women in the quarter ending February 2012.

Man meets his exact double at art museum


uestion #1: Why does this man look exactly like the subject of a painting? Question #2: What about that shirt? Max Galuppo got the shock of his life when he walked into the Philadelphia Museum of Art and saw himself in red tights. Have you got a great

doppelganger? The 1562 painting, entitled 'Portrait of a Nobleman with Duelling Gauntlet' looks shockingly identical to Galuppo. Nobleman is Galuppo's actual doppelganger. We're not sure how the dueller would feel about that tie-dye Pink Floyd t-shirt though.

Max Galuppo poses in front of the portrait

One of the monkeys at Emory University



Nutritionist advises Nigerians to maintain good diet


r George Eke, the Chief Executive Officer, Justy Confectionery and Food Ltd., on Thursday advised Nigerians to maintain good diet to live long and fight diseases. He made the call during a seminar organised by Women of Divine Destiny and Initiative (WODI), in Owerri. Eke said that the body

controlled by nutrients, required 35 vitamins and minerals for every cell in the body. “It requires protein and without it the body tissues cannot stay alive. There should also be fiber in the body because lack of it causes cancer. “Make food the medicine you take and not medicine the food you take,” he said. He stressed the importance of

colostrum, a yellowish substance that come out of a woman’s breast after giving birth and advised women to allow their children to take it. Eke also advised against peeling it away, saying that lack of colostrum could cause diabetes in children. “Colostrum is so powerful that it can preserve the child till the time of vaccination. It builds the

baby’s immunity and protects it. “In fact, it is not only good for the babies alone but also adults as it protects the body and repairs the dead body cells. “If you have diabetes and take colostrum, the cells of the pancreas will be repaired,” he said. Eke advised all to take a lot of breadfruit known as “ukwa’’ and oil bean “ugba’’ in Igbo language, saying they contained good

vitamin and mineral for body building. “Also, do not cut your vegetable before washing as this will destroy its nutrients and do not allow it to take long time on fire. “Do not peel your beans before grinding it for moi moi and akara, even if the colour is black, leave it like that because the nutrients are in the thing you throw away,” he stressed.(NAN)

of dementia had an average of 63.6 micrograms per week, and those who didn’t develop dementia at all averaged 59 micrograms. The study highlights the role vitamin D plays in Alzheimer’s, a severe form of dementia which causes the sufferer to become disorientated, aggressive, forgetful and find even quite basic tasks difficult to carry out. There is no cure for the illness, which affects around 400,000 people in England - a figure which is steadily rising as people live for longer. Meanwhile, investigators led by Yelena Slinin at the VA Medical Centre in the United States found that women with a low vitamin D intake were more likely to encounter cognitive decline. Ms Slinin analysed the vitamin levels of 6,257 older women who also underwent mental ability tests known as

the mini-mental state examination. Low levels of vitamin D of less than 20 nanograms per millilitre of blood serum were

associated with higher odds of mental decline. Scientists say both studies, which were published in The Journals of Gerontology,

underline the importance of getting enough vitamin D, either through exposure to the sun, food or supplements. Source:

Taking Vitamin D ‘may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease’


omen should take Vitamin D supplements to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research. Two new studies show that women who don’t have enough Vitamin D as they hit middle age are at greater risk of going into mental decline and developing Alzheimer’s. The first of the studies found that women who developed Alzheimer’s disease had lower vitamin D intakes than those who did not develop the illness. Dr Cedric Annweiler, of Angers University Hospital in France, looked at data from nearly 500 women who participated in the Toulouse cohort of the Epidemiology of Osteoporosis study. He found that women who developed Alzheimer’s had an average vitamin D intake of 50.3 micrograms a week, whereas those who developed other forms

Research: A study has found women who don't have enough Vitamin D as they hit middle age are at greater risk of going into mental decline and developing Alzheimer's

Scientists say research suggests taking Vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease

Strong sense of smell is the key to a happy, say scientists They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But it seems finding the perfect mate has less to do with how they look, and more to do with whether they get up your nose. Researchers have found that a good sense of smell is key to successful, lasting relationships. They analysed data from men and women born with no sense of smell, known as anosmiacs, and compared the results with healthy individuals. They discovered that a faulty sense of smell led to insecurity and problems socialising and finding love for both sexes, although men were particularly affected. On average men born without a sense of smell had two sexual partners, compared to ten for a normal male. Although it didn’t affect the number of relationships for women – both types averaged four lovers – those without a sense of smell were 20 per cent more insecure about their partnerships, according to the research, published in the journal Biological Psychology.

stinky armpits, are drinking rotten milk or living in fishysmelling apartments. ‘Constantly wondering whether you smell bad makes a p e r s o n insecure, and that could spill over into the person’s love life.’ Smell has long been portrayed as a trigger for arousal in men in a number of f i l m s , including Al Pacino’s Scent of a Woman, where lead character Colonel Frank Slade can name or describe the appearance of women by their perfume Research has found men with no sense of smell have far fewer partners than those with, while women are alone. Source: said to place more importance on odour than looks when it comes to finding a soulmate.

Thomas Hummel, of Dresden University’s Smell and Taste Clinic, said: ‘In general, those with anosmia ... don’t know whether they have bad breath,



Impeachment threat: No amount of blackmail can stop Al-Makura, says aide By Umar Muhammad Puma


assarawa state governor, Alhaji Umar Tanko AlMakura's Seniot Special Assistance on Media and Press Affairs, Sani Musa Mairiga, has said that no amount of blackmail by opposition parties in the state would deterred his boss from carrying out laudable projects and policies that would better the living conditions of the people in the

state. Mairiga stated this yesterday while speaking with newsmen in Abuja against the backdrop of an impeachment move by some members of the state Assembly. "It is on record that the previous administrations in the state witnessed such communal crisis but the House then never called for an impeachment of the Governors?" Mairiga pointed out. He said Al-makura showed a

sense of magnanimity and generosity of a good leader when he ordered for a full scale investigation to ascertain the immediate and remote cause of the crisis and also rendering some relief materials to the victims of the Agyaragu crisis just like he did when such broke out in Assakio. The SSA noted that the governor, in a statewide broadcast banned all activities of

militia organisations in the state and directed security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the Agyaragu crisis no matter how highly place the might be. "It is uncalled for to allege that the Governor Almakura did not show any concern about the plight of the victims of the crisis. The state PDP chairman should avoid inflammatory remarks capable of heating up the polity in the state." The media aide said the

opposition parties especially the PDP had no basis to criticize Almakura's government because what they failed to achieve in twelve years of their reign, Tanko umar Almakura has done it in one year. He revealed that the Executive and the legislative arms in the state are all working for the betterment of the people of Nasarawa, calling on the opposition parties to always make constructive criticism aimed at moving the state forward.

Director cautions LG workers against false asset declaration


L-R: Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, being welcomed by Senate President, David Mark, to Saint Mulumba Chaplaincy, Apo, in Abuja, yesterday. Photo: NAN

Inauguration of Adamawa LGs illegal- Ardo By Lawrence Olaoye


s controversy continues to trail the conduct of November 22 local government election in Adamawa state, a governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Umar Ardo, has described the inauguration of the elected local government chairmen as illegal. PDP swept all the local governments during the election but the list of candidates submitted by Governor Murtala Nyako to the State Independent Electoral Commission, SIEC, has continued to generate heat in the state. Speaking to newsmen on the conduct of the election, Ardo, who contested for the PDP governorship ticket with Nyako said the governor breached the Electoral laws by swearing-in the local government before the SIEC announced the winners of the election. According to him, the State Electoral Laws made provision for the elected officers to be sworn-in two weeks after the SIEC has announced the result but the governor rushed to inaugurate the local government chairmen before the result was

announced probably to preempt any move to challenge the result. "One of the most serious absurdities that I have never seen in politics in Nigeria happened in Adamawa State. The law says that candidates or political parties that are not satisfied in outcome of any election should go to Tribunal. They gave number of days, like the local government, the electoral law in Adamawa state gave 14 days after declaration of result, but

do you know in Adamawa, based on this local government election there was no even a formal declaration of result by the State Independent Electoral C ommission (SIEC) when Nyako swore in the chairmen. "You may not believe it and that is the truth. The SIEC did not declare result; did not declared winners; did not give certificate of return. In the morning by 7:30 Nyako went and swore in all the local government

ome political party chieftains on Wednesday lend support to the amendment of Section 153 of the Constitution to grant full autonomy to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Political stakeholders spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. INEC Chairman Attahiru Jega, proposed the autonomy in his presentation to the Ad hoc Committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution. Malam Umar Mustapha, Chairman Kowa Party, said that for INEC to be truly independent ``it should not be subjected to the direction or control of any other authority or persons in all its operations."

Party chieftains back INEC's full autonomy


He added that the autonomy should be one that would free INEC from the interference of the executive arm of government to enable it perform its duties effectively. Mustapha said that Kowa Party was seriously considering pushing for an amendment to the constitution on the matter. According to him, the autonomy, if granted, will enhance the independence and ability of the commission to conduct "free, fair and fair polls". ``INEC dependency and funding must be free of interference of government for it to perform its

chairmen. "The fear was that let people like the Dr.Ardo and others not go to court in the afternoon and get injunction restraining them from swearing-in them, so the SIEC was left with the result in its mouth. They have already swore them in, so it was only last Monday, one week after he swore in the local government chairmen that they came and declared the result.

lhaji Shaba Abu, the Director of Code of Conduct Bureau in Katsina State on Wednesday cautioned local government workers against false declaration of assets. He said at a sensitisation lecture on asset declaration in Funtua, that workers should also avoid delay in declaring their assets as stipulated by the constitution. He said such actions attract penalties which might hinder workers' progress. The director therefore enjoined them to understand each portion on the form before completing it. Abu said the lecture was conceived due to irregularities noticed in the forms completed by workers. He said workers needed to comprehend each section and called on superior officers to always assist lower ones to avoid mistakes and other unnecessary declaration which might attract sanction. The director stressed the importance of transparency in all dealings and called for collective efforts against corruption, saying it was detrimental to the nation's development. The Transition Council Chairman of Funtua Local Government, Alhaji Abdu Isa, commended the initiative of the bureau to sensitise public officers on its activities.

constitutional right. ``Independence of INEC must be the concern of every loving Nigerian and a process must be put in place to ensure that principled and credible people come out to contest for the job. ``The system of handpicking one man out of 150 million people is not too ideal for our democracy and the purpose of one man one vote is defeated.'' The chieftain said that INEC, being an umpire must be seen to be unbiased in the discharge of its duties, adding that the autonomy would safeguard the integrity of the electoral process.

``If INEC gains its autonomy, the Chairman and his team will not be handpicked, their appointment will be done through the open system. "The process will make them accountable to the people through the enforcement of the rule of law,'' he said. Mr Frank Ohwofa, National Chairman, Freedom Party of Nigeria, said that granting full autonomy to INEC was long overdue. He said that the review of the Electoral Act had become imperative to empower the commission to enforce internal democracy in political parties, as the nation warmed up for the 2015 general elections. (NAN)



Prison Reforms: ANPP calls for speedy passage of reform bill

L-R: Bauchi State Governor, Malam Isa Yuguda, receiving Governor's Mandate Award from former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana, during the 2012 best performance Governor's Award ceremony organised by Mandate Group, recently in Abuja.

By Umar Muhammad Puma


he All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has urged the National Assembly to speed up the passage of the Prisons Reform Bill to enhance effective reforms in the system and also focus on areas of crime and punishment in the ongoing Constitution Amendment so to align with the current security challenges of the nation. The party in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Emma Eneukwu stated that a media report credited to the Executive Secretary of National Human Rights Commission, Professor Bem Angwe, said that 70 percent of inmates in the nation's prisons have no business there because they are awaiting trial. "This is a manifest admission of helplessness and incompetence by the government as regards the nation's prisons and correctional service sector. At this time in the life of our great country, when insecurity and socio-economic uncertainty reign supreme, weak and porous correctional infrastructure is the undisputed fodder to the surging wave of crime. Our party wonders whether the Federal Government is aware of the criminals it is inadvertently breeding in our jails", he said. Eneukwu further stressed that the overall intent in establishing prisons was to rehabilitate criminals by teaching them personal discipline and respect for work, property, and other people. "Fundamentally, the philosophy and practice of the correctional institution is to punish the bodies of criminals less and improve their souls more. But a situation where prisoners in Nigeria are exposed to inhuman conditions, with many of them wasting without trial, is a travesty of civilization and affront on human dignity. But most significantly, it is gross insensitivity on the part of the PDP led government," ANPP stated. The opposition party added that when the true essence of the penitentiary is abused or neglected, it loses its objective of reforming errant citizens and sanitizing the polity. "Today we are accosted with a situation where people convicted and jailed for unserious crimes come out hardened, ready and willing to commit more heinous crimes against the country and fellow citizens. In the same vein, affluent public officers convicted for serious crimes, helped by an unjust and incompetent correctional infrastructure and administration, end up getting punished like juvenile delinquents and come out ready to commit worse crimes," the party pointed out.

Photo: Justin Imo-Ow

CNPP demands full fuel subsidy report, issues 7days ultimatum By Umar Muhammad Puma


he Conference of Nigerian political parties ( CNPP), yesterday urged the Minister of Finance and coordinating minster for the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Ewela to provide the details of the fuel subsidy report for forensic audit aimed at recovery of the stolen subsidy funds. Chairman of the CNPP Alhaji Balarabe Musa who stated this yesterday at a news conference in

Abuja added that the Conference is in support of the minister's passion to actualize the dreams of Nigerians to wage war against corruption. He said that the Conference has the intention of assisting in examining the details of these report, as records have shown the billion wasted in the fuel subsidy scam could have been utilized to build 2 refineries with the capacity to refine over 500,000 barrels of crude a day. He said the Presidential task force headed by Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede

that verified slightly over N3trillion, has come out with a very detailed work but we are looking into it in details to be able to really determine what transaction had or had not been done properly. He accused Aigboje- Imoukhuede of using the opportunity of being a judge in his own case to wage a proxy war against certain corporate bodies as evidenced with the fate of Capital Oil and Gas Ltd. "Ttoday, the Capital Oil facilities are in cliff-hanger, because a banker who was less than

transparent in his transaction with his customers, have been armed by the state with undue ammunition to hack down shadow and real enemies". "We are therefore at a loss on how the report of House of Representatives is only mentioned casually in passing; while the report of the Managing Director of Access Bank, a beneficiary of the fuel subsidy scam through which majority of billions of the good, the bad and the ugly transaction passed, is given high premium. It is suspicious and questionable".

Internal squabbles stall CPC merger plot By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


evelation emerged recently on how internal disagreement between influential members of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has stalled the merger negotiations which the party is currently finalizing with other leading opposition parties in Nigeria. In an exclusive chat with a source in the party with this reporter, it was gathered that the disagreement started when some prominent members insisted on imposing their

stooges as compulsory members of the party's special committee that will negotiate the merger for CPC. It was further learnt that due to this disagreement, the CPC's Merger Committee which was scheduled for inauguration last week could not be inaugurated due to the inability of the key players to resolve their differences on who becomes a member of the committee and what role they will play. Further investigations also revealed that due to this crisis, which has placed CPC on standstill with regards to the merger plans, the

National Executive Committee of the party resolved that no member of the party's Board of Trustees (BoT) and National Executive Committee (NEC) will be a member of the CPC's Merger Committee. The source said that this arrangement did not go down well with some of the key actors in the conflict who are bent on imposing their stooges, adding that the NEC has resolved to move forward with the merger, threatening that no member would hold the party to ransom in any of its progressive moves. According to the source, "the NEC

Reinforce security on ObajanaKabba road, Assembly urges From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


he Kogi state House of Assembly yesterday pleaded with the security operatives in the state to reinforce surveillance on Obajana Kabba road. Moving the motion on the floor of the House during plenary, Hon Yori Afolabi, representing Ijumu constituency averred that the security challenges on that route has become worrisome.

Hon Afolabi noted that frequent attack on travelers on that route has put pressure on the state and all relevant stakeholders to bail the innocent citizens from the harzards. The motion which was seconded by Hon Shehu Idris of Lokoja 11 state constituency stressed that motorist on that route in the last couple of months have been groaning under the menace of armed robbers. The harzard, the motion reflected, has put travelers under heavy tension indicative that

during this festive period many lives and property would be in danger. The Speaker ruled that the House committee security should be in the position to meet the security operatives to properly come out with workable solution. Meanwhile, two bills on vigilante services and other issues connected thereto and security trust fund has been passed to law by the House.

insists that there are other credible members of the party who are neither in the NEC nor in the BoT, and who can deliver on the desired demands of the party's majority with regards to the merger plan." Though it was not clear when the committee would be inaugurated, another source in the party said that it must take place before the year runs out. The source also alleged that this most recent crisis was being steamed by the faction of the party who were expelled for alleged antiparty activities and led by founding Chairman of CPC, Senator Rufai Hanga, adding that until these aggrieved factions are readmitted into the party, the merger plot may be a futile venture. It would be recalled that on November 5th, the BoT of CPC met and considered the report of the Nasir el'Rufai committee on the Renewal of CPC, and resolved that a committee be set up to negotiate the terms of the merger for CPC. Meanwhile, CPC's NEC has also resolved that el"Rufai would head the party's E-registration exercise to ensure that all eligible members of the party are capture biometrically, as a way of fosterling growth and forestalling the overbearing tendencies of some influential members who print voters cards and registers voters for ulterior motives.



Reps want improved funding for FCT By Lawrence Olaoye


he House of Representatives yesterday advocated for an improved funding for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) just as it decried the N64 billion allocation for the agency in the 2013 fiscal year. It declared that the Executive arm had clearly arm twisted the Ministry by disobeying the 1999 Constitution and the FCT Act which both mandate Federal Government to give at least 1% of total national budget to the FCT. It said the N64 billion given to FCT is not up to one percent of N4.9 trillion submitted last October to the joint session of the National Assembly by President Goodluck Jonathan. The House while making the call also noted that volume of infrastructural projects of Abuja municipality and its six area councils should be taken as a national priority. House Committee on FCT said this yesterday when it played host to Senator Bala Mohammed, the FCT Minister during defence of FCT National Priority Proposed Budget for 2013. Committee members who spoke at the event expressed dismay over attitude of the Federal government through its Budget Office which came out with a budget ceiling of only N50 billion for the Ministry. They showed concerns that the dream of making Abuja an affordable place to all residents might still remain a mirage in view of the current trend which they termed "deliberate limited funding of FCT". According to Jerry Manwe (Taraba PDP), a member of the committee "In view of the fact that FCT hosts almost every important Nigerian including Mr. President himself, I suggest that FCT should be given more that N50 billion ceiling; this amount is not elastic and it may hamper its services to its growing population" Another member, Jagaba

Adams Jagaba (PDP Kaduna) who expressed similar fear said "ongoing N13.8 billion Gurara Water project might suffer a major setback under 2013 budget" Isa Dobi (PDP FCT) however urged the Minister to extend development to other satellite towns of the FCT. He noted that "the amount given to FCT gives me worries. This is because all satellite towns must be developed along with the city center. If we concentrate development in the municipality alone, infrastructures will be overstretched "Recall that the FCT Minister said he had earlier presented a budget portfolio of

N401 billion to the Budget Office to enable him complete some ongoing projects mostly carried over from 2012 budget but later slashed down below 50% ." According to the minister, some of the projects expected to be carried out in 2013 budget are the $500 million Abuja Light Rail Project, Construction of a new office residence for the Vice President, Phases 2&3 of National Assembly Complex and a network of new intradistrict roads. But he however promised to use his ingenuity to run affairs of the Ministry despite the limited resources available to him. "It is not

within my power to question Mr. President or the Budget Office on the envelope given to us. Certainly I wanted N401 billion but I'm going to use my ingenuity" "Certainly the money is grossly inadequate. Pressure is much on the government, but I have made my case to the president and we are expectant" he assured. When asked by Committee Chairman, to provide adequate information on the progress of work at the Abuja Light Rail Project which he said will ease transportation problem in the FCT, Mohammed said "Abuja Light Rail System is a flagship project, we have gone more

L-R: Chairperson, House Committee of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Nnena Ukeje-Eledu, Secretary of the committee, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, and member of the committee, Hon. Samaila Godaka, during the 213 budget defence by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, on Tuesday at National Assembly, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Reps charge FG to use MDGs project for development he House of Representatives yesterday stressed the need for Federal Government to improve the living standard of rural dwellers through the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) projects across the country. Bimbo Darkly, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on

MDGs gave the charge while addressing Precious Gbenol, Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, during the 2012 budget defence. Daramola who expressed the need for effective utilisation of funds appropriated to the MDG office, explained that opening up the rural areas would among other things check the rural urban migration which could be a recipe for the security challenges in the country.

He said "Nigerians are beginning to ask questions on what you are doing in MDG, we want to see tangible impacts and the money to function is going to come from this side, not yours. "The National Assembly will exercise all rights so long as it advances the interests of all Nigerians including yourself, because we are all Nigerians on this side and you are Nigerians on that side. So we must be on the same page always. I believe

government to ensure that all the participating actors were fully protected, noninterference with the electoral body and fairness to all candidates irrespective of political affiliations. Addressing a joint press conference in Abuja yesterday, Mr. Joshua Ikani and Comrade Philip Agbese, the Executive Director and National President of the groups respectively told newsmen that the recent exercise in Benue State was a model that should be emulated for 2015.

The groups which informed newsmen that they were in Benue state throughout the period of the election to monitor proceeding down to the various wards, said the Benue State Independent Electoral Commission deserves applause for the timely preparations, dispatch of materials and accurate compilation of results at all levels which they attributed to the independence and financial autonomy of the commission as provided by Governor Gabriel Suswam. The group further charged

the Federal Government and the Independent National Electoral Commission to seek timely collaboration with the State Electoral Commissions in their preparation towards 2015 to enable them organise a hitch free election in the country. The group argued that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) owns it duty to Nigerians to conduct free, fair and credible elections since the Benue state government has proven it that votes can count again in Nigeria.

By Lawrence Olaoye


Groups hail Benue governor over credible polls By Etuka Sunday


roups known as C o m m o n w e a l t h Monitors and Concerned Benue Citizens Coalition (G10) have hailed Governor Gabriel Suswam on his commitment to deepen the nation's democracy over the recently concluded Local Government Chairmanship and Councillorship elections in Benue State. They particularly commended the governor for the security arrangements put in place by the

than 25% with fifteen stations in our design" "Federal Government should now be at about withdrawing $90 million which is the first chunk of the $500 million Chinese loan. On this project, we are hopeful it will be commissioned by 2015 and made available to all Nigerians, N22.6 billion has so far been paid to contractors through statutory and national budgets of the FCT" he explained. On the performance of 2012 budget, the Minister however explained that "Out of N46 billion appropriated for 2012, we have received total of N37.6 billion up till the third quarter"

strongly that there would be questions, knowing fully well that the House has the power of the purse." He also tasked MDG office on the need to give priority to development projects allocated to members of the National Assembly as constituency projects at various constituencies. Speaking earlier, Precious Gbenol, SSA to the President on MDG, said the MDG had received most of the releases for projects contained in the 2012 budget explaining that while some of the projects would be completed this year, adding that others will be implemented in 2013 fiscal year. She disclosed that sum of N120 billion would be required in 2013 for priority projects in key sectors including Education, Health, Youth Development, Lands and Housing, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis among projects. She added that such projects would be spread across 250 Local Government Areas and appealed to the members of the National Assembly to endeavour to commission completed



Kogi guber: More troubles for Wada

R-L: FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed with Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, during the 2013 budget defence by the ministers before House Committee on FCT, on Tuesday at National Assembly, in Abuja.

By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


fresh legal battle challenging the nomination and declaration of Captain Idris Wada as the governor of Kogi state commenced yesterday before a Federal High Court in Abuja. However, the governor through his counsel, Chris Uche (SAN) has urged the court to dismiss the suit for being an abuse of court process and that the plaintiff lacked locus to institute such suit. A member of the People's Democratic Party PDP in the state, Yunusa Omagada had through his counsel, Bola Aidi dragged the governor, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court seeking the nullification of the election that brought in Wada as the governor of the state. In a writ of summons filed by the plaintiff, he is praying the court for a declaration that Wada is not a fit and proper person to be nominated by the PDP to the INEC as its standard bearer for the December 3, 2011 Governorship Election in Kogi State. He also wants a declaration that the nomination of Wada as the Governorship candidate of the PDP to INEC is null, void and of no consequence whatsoever and also a declaration that some information contained in INEC form is false. The plaintiff also wants a declaration that the nomination and consequent purported election of Wada as governor of Kogi is in breach of the provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended. Omagada therefore prayed the court for an order declaring the candidature of Wada to the PDP in the said 2011 null and void ab nitio as being in breach of the provisions of Electoral Act and the 1999 Constitution as amended. He therefore prayed the court to allow the application. In his preliminary objection to the suit, Wada challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit submitting that plaintiff did not have any locus standi to institute such suit because he never participated in the election and that he had failed to show how the emergence of Wada as the governor affected him. He added that the fresh case was a gross abuse of court process adding that the suit was the same as the one filed by one Abalaka which the court had earlier dismissed.

Photo: Mahmud Isa

5 ACN members, 3 others arraigned over protest against Ajimobi's council boss' tenure elongation From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


ollowing recent disruption of public peace by some factional members of the Action Congress of Nigeria, who prevented the Caretaker Chairman of Saki West, Mr Oladapo Popoola from entering his office based on allegation of his imposition by Governor Abiola Ajimobi, five members of the party were yesterday arraigned before a Chief Magistrate's court in the town. They were charged with a threecount offence of attempted arson, willful and unlawful setting of fire in front of the council secretariat, and destruction of bill board having the picture of the caretaker

chairman on it. The accused persons arraigned before Chief Magistrate S. Olutunde were Akinola Gbenga (a Special Adviser in the office of the Deputy Governor Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo), Kewulere Ojuolape, Soliu Bakoja, Gani Orelope, and Hon Kareem Tijani (former Councillor in the President Babangida administration and former youth leader). Represented by a team of legal counsels led by Chief Olawuwo Siyanbola, all the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them by the Prosecutor, Sergeant Sola, and so were granted bail in the sum of N500, 000 each with one surety in like

sum. The court room was parked full with factional members of the ACN, and many expressing disappointment that ordinary intraparty crisis could be allowed to drag to court. Friends and relations were struggling to secure the bail of the accused persons, making frantic efforts to perfect the bail conditions attached to their releases. Armed mobile policemen had on Monday been drafted to the Sango Road area of the secretariat, firing tear gas canisters at the protesters to disperse them. They were stationed there till the evening of the day to prevent break down of law and order. Further investigation showed that some leaders were opposed to another

2015: Respect our zoning arrangement-Aliyu tells Niger PDP From Illya Garba, Minna


iger state Governor, Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu has told politicians angling for elective positions in 2015 to respect the zoning arrangement put in place by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state. Aliyu also reminded politicians holding nocturnal meetings ahead of the 2015 general elections in the state on the need not to do silly things all in the name of politics but to have the belief that, it is only God that can give positions to those he wishes. Speaking at the inauguration of the committee for the Realisation of

the University of Education in the state, Governor Aliyu said, the activities of some political office holders and politicians in recent times has become 'an unnecessary distraction'. "Let us support the zoning formula because it is our own internal arrangement and people should not overheat the polity because we cannot predict the magnitude of the damage doing so would cost," Aliyu pleaded. He reminded Nigerlites that the political peace the state had witnessed since the return to democratic rule in the country is as a result of the zoning arrangement which he said had reduced unnecessary acrimony

in the race for political offices saying that this peace should not be eroded. The governor however blamed the rot in the education sector in the state and the country at large on parents who he said have not been relating well with school administrators adding that most parents never cared to find out from their wards what their children are doing in the school. He also said unlike in the past, religious leaders have neglected their roles as molders of morals and guide of the nation in all spheres of human endeavour. Aliyu said that the proposed University of Education to be established in Minna from the

Vice Chairman, Jama'a LG, 11 counselors take oath of office


alam Isiaka Ladan, the newly-elected vice chairman, Jama'a Local Government in Kaduna State alongside 11 councillors on Wednesday took oath of office in Kafanchan. The oath-taking ceremony was administered by the Legal Officer of the local government, Mr Mohammed Shehu. In his address after the ceremony, Ladan commended the

six months tenure granted the local government caretaker chairmen including Popoola, while a source said that another person, Khalid Olabisi, was preferred as the council boss by the aggrieved faction. Chief Magistrate Olutunde adjourned the matter till February 13, 2012 for mention. Meanwhile, three security men at the council secretariat were also charged with negligence for not preventing the protesters from setting bon fires in front of the secretariat. According to some sympathizers, the elderly security guards were only made scapegoats because there was little or nothing the unarmed elderly men could do to stave off the protesting and angry youths.

state Independent Electoral Commission for the peaceful conduct of the polls and pledged to work in harmony with the chairman of the council. The vice chairman called for the support of the community, especially the youths, whom he described as agents of change and the vanguard of any nation. Also speaking, the Chairman of the council, Mr Dan Amos sought for continued prayers from the

electorate, assuring that the council would not let them down. Amos, further assured that the new administration would promote the unity, development and security of lives and property of the people. In a remark, the former chairman, Mr Danjuma Musa advised the new administration to ensure that the relative peace being enjoyed in the area was sustained. One of the councillors, Mr

Nehimiah Madugu of Kagoma ward implored public officers to offer exemplary leadership so as to serve as models to members of their respective communities. Madugu assured that the legislative arm of the council would deliver on its mandate. NAN reports that the ceremony had in attendance, politicians, civil society organisations, civil servants and the business community. (NAN)

2013/2014 academic calendar will be unique in all aspects of education stressing that it will also be a reference point by education stakeholders in the country. Aliyu said 10 schools, 3 in each of the senatorial zones of the state will now be designated for Grade Two Teachers programme adding that students interested in taking education as a profession will sit for internal examination in addition to the National Examination Council and West African Examination Council senior school public examinations. He said the government's position is informed by the fact that education is on the concurrent list which translates to the fact that 'each state can look at education and see how to solve its problems'. Chairman of the Committee and former Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, Professor Mohammad Daniya, in response promised that they will live up to the expectations of the government. 'Failure in respect of this enterprise is unacceptable, we shall give our all; we will make the issues easier than hitherto thought' Daniya assured the governor.



Baribote dismisses sack by clubs chairmen, heads to court Stories by Patrick Andrew


ictor Baribote has dismissed his purported impeachment by 16 clubs’ chairmen who held an emergency meeting penultimate night and yesterday morning before they

announced the dissolution of the league board. However, sacked Baribote declared ignorance of his alledged sack and insisted that the disgruntled clubs’ chairmen were in the breach of the statutes. Further, Baribote, who assumed the

leadership of the league board following the court’s termination of Davidson Owumi’s tenure on the grounds of illegality, will be heading to the court today to demand legal intervention of the dissolution of his board. “I am not aware of any meeting. If the clubs plan

to hold an emergency meeting, I as the chairman of the league ought to be informed. And in any case, the league statutes do not support such a meeting,” Baribote argued. According to spokesman of the clubs Fan Ndubuoke, the NPL congress earlier slated to

be held in Kano today was illegal as none of the clubs were notified of this three months prior to the congress as stipulated in the Statutes. The Heartland general manager also said they got their powers to dissolve the NPL board from Article 22 of the Statutes after setting

aside Articles 24, 25 and 26. These articles clarified on procedures for calling an emergency meeting and removal of the chairman of the board. Peoples Daily Sports scooped from impeccable sources that Baribote held a meeting with some members of the NFF

executive committee where he repeatedly thrusted at them the procedural breaches by the 16 clubs’ chairmen in the dissolution. The clubs therefore unanimously agreed for an interim committee led by Mike Idoko to now fix another congress before December 10.

Bolaji Abdullahi, Sports Minister, Aminu Maigari, President NFF, Taiwo Ogunjobi, waiting in the wing, Victor Baribote, barely hanging on

NFF board holds emergency meeting today over crisis


he executive committee of the NFF has moved in to scuttle the fresh crisis that may have been ignited by the vote of no confidence passed on the board of the Nigeria Premier League from degenerating further. The committee has scheduled an emergency meeting for today where the dissolution of the league board would be considered technically and statutorily with a view to stalling the implementation of the clubs’ resolution. The 16 clubs had after a marathon meeting from Tuesday night through Wednesday morning announced the sacking

of the Victor Baribote-led board and appointed 6man Interim Committee to run the league within two months when fresh elections would be conducted. Peoples Daily Sports learnt that the football federation moved to quell the crisis from snowballing because it is seen as largely being responsible for the veiled impeachment of Baribote. Though the NFF was silent on the meeting in a release it issued yesterday putting on hold the 7th congress of the NPL earlier scheduled for Kano today, the football federation however said

sanity must prevail in the domestic league. ”We are in possession of a letter signed by a number of club owners. For us, there has to be sanity in the administration of the League, and that has to happen sooner rather than later. “The NFF is uncomfortable with the continued delay in the commencement of the 2012/2013 Premier League season, which can only roll off the ground after the Congress. But we fear there could be a breakdown of law and order should the Congress go ahead on Thursday, 6th December 2012,” a released signed by

General Secretary, Musa Amadu stated. Further, we learnt that the NFF was disturbed with the development and opted to call its board members

together to consider ways that the likely unpleasant aftermath of Baribote’s ouster could impact on the league. “In the meantime, we implore all persons


ordeal of the NPL, had wanted Ogunjobi to take over the mantle of leadership of the NPL. But the clubs’ chairmen, who had hitherto agreed to effect the changes, opted to pull the rugs off the feet of their NSC backers by jettisoning Ogunjobi in place of one of their own. Though Ogunjobi is a prominent figure in Nigerian football

having served as the Secretary General of the NFF, been clubs’ chairman, the chairmen argued, according to impeccable sources, that the Osun state FA chairman has credibility problem: he, along with two others, was impeached only recently. “We have strong backings from the government and its

action of the 16 clubs, provisions of the NFF statutes, Articles of the NPL as well as other acts from which authority could be sought to fault the procedures adopted in the sudden impeachment.

Interim chairman, Idoko, says congress to hold next week


he seventh edition of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) congress scheduled for today in Kano has been postponed till next week, according to the chairman of the Interim Board Committee of the league body, Mike Idoko. This follows the dissolution of the NPL board chaired by Victor Baribote by 16 Premier League clubs representatives that attended an emergency meeting at the early hours of yesterday at the Dennis Hotel, Wuse II in Abuja. Representatives of two clubs: Enyimba and Kano Pillars, came after the meeting. Only Akwa United and Jigawa Golden Stars were absent.

Ogunjobi to head NPL board ut for the resilience of some clubs’ chairmen yesterday, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, would have been named the interim board committee chairman of the Nigeria Premier League. Peoples Daily Sports learnt that elements within the National Sports Commission, who are behind the present

involved to exhibit highlevel maturity and maintain calmness for the good of the Nigeria game.” Accordingly, it called on its members to gather in Abuja today where attention would be paid to the implications of the

representatives. No, what we did was on the urging of the government. In fact, we were told to make Ogunjobi (Taiwo) the new chairman of the NPL. We only declined because he has an issue and does not preside over a premiership clubside,” one source said noting that the real problem against the choice of Ogunjobi was credibility.

Peoples Daily Sports learnt that the plots to dethrone Victor Baribote was hatched several months ago with the Chieftains of the National Sports Commission and some key figures of the NFF executive committee deeply involved in it. Matters took a definite shape in Calabar when the Super Eagles played against their Liberian

Idoko confirmed that they have the mandate to organise a congress on or before December 10, 2012. “Kano still remains the venue for the congress and it will be next week Monday or Tuesday,” Idoko said in Abuja yesterday. Idoko,who identified lack of transparency and accountability on the side of the Victor Baribote-led board as part of the ills that hindered the progress of the outgone 2011/ CONTINUED ON PAGE 43 counterparts as the match provided a seemingly conducive ambience for all involved to meet. And they met. Though the leadership of the commission was represented by a proxy, ‘the hawks’ within the NFF executive committee plus former close associates of Victor Baribote were in attendance. The meeting though drew flaks from some members of the board

who were left out of the plot. Nonetheless, those involved resolved to strike at the auspicious time, but through a proxy: clubs’ chairmen. Another round of meeting took place in Ilorin where some other clubs’ bosses were persuaded to tow the line or get the whip. It appears the appointed time was yesterday. But it might yet be dawn for both the deal and envisaged changes.



No sabbatical for Mourinho after Real Tennis


eal Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has said that he is not looking to take a break from the game when he eventually leaves the club. Speculation that the Portuguese boss will leave the Spanish champions at the end of the season has been rife recently, with reports linking him with moves to Manchester

City and Paris Saint-Germain. But the former Porto, Chelsea and Inter trainer has said that when he eventually departs Santiago Bernabeu, he will be looking to get straight back into coaching. “If I go, I will not be on holiday for a year,” Mourinho told reporters. “If I do not work here (at

Madrid), then (I will work) somewhere else. Will I coach in England? (I will coach) anywhere, maybe in the Netherlands.” The 49-year-old also joked that the speculation linking PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti with the Madrid job would allow him to switch sides with the Italian.

“What I have read in the Spanish press is that Ancelotti will take over at Madrid. So, one of two, we could work together or we change our jobs [and swap].” Madrid are currently third in La Liga, trailing leaders Barcelona by 11 points, as well as being five points behind local rivals Atletico Madrid.

NOC wants NSC to develop athletes’ database


he Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) on Wednesday urged the National Sports Commission (NSC) to focus on building an athletes’ database from the ongoing 18 th National Sports Festival in Lagos. NOC Secretary-General Tunde Popoola said in Lagos that a comprehensive bio-data of the athletes would aid the NSC in organising sports development programmes. Popoola said the database of all the athletes that were

competing at the festival, tagged “Eko 2012’’ would help to rebrand Nigeria’s sports, especially at the international level. “The main problem we have is lack of credible programmes and data. If we have a comprehensive data of our athletes, we will be able to know our prospects. “We need to have a strong database. Keeping records on them then becomes the responsibility of the government,’’ he said.

Popoola added that it was the duty of the NSC to build such a database on which the NOC would ensure that the athletes were followed up in all aspects. The secretary-general said that to achieve that, there must be a bond between the NOC and the NSC. According to him, the arrangement would enable the NSC to know the prospects of the athletes discovered and pave a way for them to be integrated into the commission’s Elite Athlete’s Programme.

Dr. Patrick Ekeji, DG, NSC

Associations back multi-host Euros plan


roposals for the 2020 European Championship to be held in multiple countries across the continent moved a step closer as European football association leaders backed the idea. UEFA president Michel Platini put forward the suggestion of a multihost tournament during the summer, and European football’s governing body could agree to back the plan in principle when it meets today. Wolfgang Niersbach, the president of the German FA, said the plan which could see up to 13 countries playing host to the Euros - had been backed at meetings of UEFA’s 53 member associations. “This is the general trend around these meetings,” Niersbach told the Associated Press. “[It is felt] UEFA should do it as an exception on the occasion of celebrating the 60th birthday of the European Championship.”

His Georgian counterpart, Domenti Sichinava, said: “We had a few meetings around Europe, and many countries are supporting this idea.” If UEFA supports the plan on Thursday, the next step could be the commissioning of a report on how it would best be implemented. The plan would also mean countries that would never be likely to host the tournament either on their own or in partnership with another nation would have the opportunity to play a part. “We feel that a lot of small countries should have a chance,’’ Harry Been, who was the chief executive of a joint bid by the Netherlands and Belgium to host the 2018 World Cup, said. “Romania is a good example. They have built a new, big stadium, and they will never get a tournament like that by themselves.”

CAF 17: Malian Minister tips Golden Eaglets for glory


ameye Foume Mahalmadane, the Malian Sports Minister, has tipped the Golden Eaglets as a strong contender for the 2013 African Under-17 Championship in Morocco. The Golden Eaglets recorded a 100 percent result after winning six matches, scoring 21 goals and conceded just one goal. With this impressive record, the Malian Sports Minister told the Nigerian Ambassador to Mali that he would be surprise if the Eaglets do not lift the CAF Championship trophy. Malam Ilya Nuhu, the Nigerian Ambassador said, “Based on your performance against Mali, their minister told me you would be one of the best teams in Morocco and we would be happy if you can make the prediction come true.’’ Meanwhile, the president of the NFF, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, has warned the Eaglets against loss of fitness during the break after this weekend’s commemorative match for Governor Godswill Akpabio’s Golden jubilee anniversary in Uyo. “As a federation, we are delighted with what you have achieved but we want you to know that this is just the beginning,” A Golden Eaglets player contesting for possession of the ball with his Maigari was quoted to have said. Mallian counterpart.

coach advises states on players’ contracts


ichael Oyebode, Coach, Lagos State Table Tennis Association (LSTTA), yesterday urged state associations to always involve the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) in the signing of contracts with their players. Oyebode said such would help to check any form of dual registration of players for the sports festival, since the NTTF had detailed information on where athletes were officially registered. “The NTTF should be knowledgeable about the signing of players’ contracts or employment in the states. This is to avoid double registration because it is deceitful,’’ he said. He expressed disappointment that Fatima Bello of Lagos State, who was found to have been involved in a case of double registration at the Games was banned for three years. “I feel so bad because Bello is an upcoming talent with great potential, but she missed it due to ignorance so I am like somebody who lost a gold. “Besides, if the due protocol was observed, Delta and the NTTF would have prevented the ugly situation from the onset,’’ Oyebode added. According to him, Bello, who was born in 1997 was underaged, to have been employed by Delta. Oyebode said she misbehaved as she was privileged to enjoy numerous benefits from the Lagos State Government. “Lagos State is really doing well for its athletes The team even went on a training tour to China and Bello was part of the contingent,’’ he added. The coach advised athletes not to jeopardise their futures or allow themselves to be used by some states to win at all costs, but should rather be patient and remain focused.

Kessler, Magee take 90 years experience to the ring


ikkel Kessler and Brian Magee will take the experience of nearly 90 professional fights into the ring when they meet in Denmark on Saturday night. Kessler, a former WBA and WBC champion, has lost only two of his 47 fights, winning 34 by knockout. Magee, an Irishman from Belfast, stands at 36-4-1, with 25 knockouts.

The 33-year-old Kessler, who lives in Copenhagen, has had only four fights since September 2009 when he stopped Gusmyr Perdermo in the fourth round. On November 21, 2009 he was badly cut and lost on an 11th-round technical decision to Andre Ward. But he retoured to beat Carl Froch, Mehdi Bouadla and Allan Green. Magee has also not been overly active. The 37-year-old southpaw

has had only five fights since December 2008. He stopped Mads Larsen in the seventh round and Roman Aramyan in the eighth before IBF super-middleweight champion Lucien Bute beat him in the tenth round to retain the title in March last year. Soon afterwards, on July 30, Magee beat Jaime Barboza over 12 rounds in a clash for the

interim WBA supermiddleweight title. He retained the belt by stopping Rudy Markussen in the fifth round in February this year. When Andre Ward was elevated to WBA “super” champion, Magee was made “regular” champion. Kessler has will have hometown advantage but Magee could have the edge in power and speed in what could be an entertaining bout.

Mikkel Kessler


Peoples Daily



Boxing semi-finals bouts hold today


emi-final bouts will be held today following the conclusion of the quarter-finalists yesterday at the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos. The bouts come up at the National Institute for Sports (NISports), venue of the event. In the results for the male 69kg category, Ogundele Nurudeen of Ogun beat Abu Christian of Lagos 6-2; Ajiboye Kazeem of Delta beat Christian Chukwu of Enugu, with the referee stopping contest in the third round. Sunday Ojo of Ondo eliminated Asien Francis of Oyo 3-0, while Alamu Oladiran of Bayelsa had a flawless 12-0 win over Yusuf Musa of Nasarawa in the last bout of the category. In the 75kg category, Isaac Sunday of Cross River fought hard to overcome Ganiyu Kabiru of Oyo with a thrilling 1110 win, while Michael Akintewe of Ondo lost to Apampa Muri of Borno 4-9. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41

In other bouts of the category, Masebinu Adewale of Ekiti edged out Peter Iyase of Edo 5-3, while Ademola Najeem of Ogun won 9-8 over Festus Okunwunbua of FCT. In the female 64kg category, Okanlawon Kafayat of Rivers beat Anthony Taiwo of Osun 10-2 on points; Odunuga Yetunde of Borno lost emphatically to Adeniji Bukola of Benue 10-0. Falilat Tijani of Ogun beat Favour Okeke of Delta 12-1, while in the final bout of the category, Funke Oluwo of Oyo defeated Promise John of Akwa Ibom 14-10. In the 69kg category, Kate Peter of Lagos outclassed Olashile Folorunso of Oyo, with the referee stopping the contest in round 1; Niyi Esther of Niger edged out Odem John of Delta 4-2. In the final bout of the category, Ebere Nwachukwu of Bayelsa beat Tersoo Aninge of Benue 13-2, to advance to the semi-finals.

...says NPL congress to hold next week

2012 league season, insisted that the clubs have the statutory powers to dissolve the board. “Last season was the worst organised football season in the history of the NPL as gross misappropriation of funds, lack of title sponsorship and clubs payment of match indemnities was what we saw,” Idoko said to in Abuja. Idoko stressed that the 18 premier League representatives who attended the meeting have agreed and requested the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to admit expelled club,

Ocean Boys into the second-tier of the Nigerian football as he claimed that they were victims of a poorly managed league. “We have requested that the NFF should admit Ocean Boys to the National League as they were scapegoats of the worst 2011/2012 NPL season under Baribote,” Idoko explained to in Abuja. The six-man interim committee includes Idoko (southwest), Alloy Chukwuemeka (north-central), Alhaji Sabo Babayaro (north-west), Tony Ogola (south-south), Alhaji Sule Chindo (north-east) and Oscar Keke (south-east).

Team Lagos table tennis men gold medallist displaying their medals at the 18th National Sports Festival.

Photo: NAN

MOC bans player for life, cancels Team Enugu match results


he Main Organising Committee (MOC) of the 18th National Sports Festival (NSF) yesterday in Lagos slammed a life ban on a female football player of Team Enugu. Sola Ogunnowo, Coordinator of the football event of the festival, said the committee also cancelled all results of matches involving the Enugu State female football team at the festival. “The player, who represented Enugu State in the female football event as Onu Peace was discovered to be Chikodi Nwachusim, who had played professional football and was no longer qualified to feature at the festival. “As a result of this, she has been banned for life from the NSF and all Enugu matches have been cancelled. Enugu State was thus disqualified from the event at the ongoing edition of the festival due to the usage of an

ineligible player,’’ Ogunowo said. Ogunnowo said the development came as a result of an appeal lodged by Team Akwa Ibom against Enugu, who were in Group B of the competition with them. “Akwa Ibom had earlier protested against Enugu over the player, but could not substantiate their claims and their protest was dismissed. “But they went back and came up with evidence that she had earlier played for Standard Babes and the Ibom Angels, showing her 2009 licence with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). “They also showed the payment vouchers involving her when she was with Ibom Angels, while the NFF was able to authenticate from its records that the player in question indeed played in the 2009 league,’’

he said. Meanwhile, the semi final line-up in the female football competition has been completed, with Lagos State scheduled to meet Osun in the first game and Akwa Ibom to face Edo in the second match. The matches billed for the Agege Stadium will see Lagos face Osun, while Akwa Ibom take on Edo today. The third place and final matches are billed for Saturday at the same venue and same time of 10 a.m. and noon, respectively. To qualify for that stage, Lagos State had topped Group A with 10 points from three wins and one draw in four matches, after Adamawa was withdrawn from the group of six teams. Edo finished second from the group with eight points from two wins and two draws from four matches. Akwa Ibom had topped Group B with 12 points from four wins from four games,

while Osun finished second with nine points from three wins and one loss from four matches. In the male category of the competition, Delta will face Cross River in the first semifinal scheduled for Agege Stadium at 2 p.m. today, while the second semi-final match will between Kwara and hosts Lagos State at 4 p.m. at the same venue. The third place and final matches will hold at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively, at the same venue on Saturday. Delta had topped Group A of the competition with 12 points from five matches after four wins and a loss. Lagos State finished second with nine points from five matches, after three wins and two losses in the group which had six teams, after Adamawa was withdrawn. Kwara also led Group B with 10 points from five matches after three wins, one draw and a loss, while Cross River claimed second place with eight points from five matches.



2013 Nations Cup finals

We ‘ll be disappointed if Elephants don’t win Nations Cup, says Drogba

Y Nigerian tycoon to sponsor Mena to AFCON


Nigerian business tycoon, Dahiru Mangal, will fly a 540-strong Niger Republic contingent to next year’s AFCON, officials have confirmed. Katsina-based major air transporter and businessman Mangal has agreed to make available one of his Boeing 747 planes to ferry Niger Republic to and from South Africa. “Mangal is a good friend of our President and he has graciously accepted to support Niger at the Nations Cup by providing us with a Boeing 747 plane that will take us to and from South Africa,”top Niger Republic FA official Mohammed Sani. “We will fuel the chartered aircraft, otherwise he would bear the other costs. This is a big assistance to Niger and we really appreciate it. His airline, Maxair, operates in Niger and he has several other business interests also in the country.” This sponsorship is believed would save Niger at least about N50 million. Niger will be based in Port Elizabeth for the first round of matches. They are pitched against Ghana, Mali and DR Congo. For their debut at the 2012 Nations Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, Niger flew about 350 supporters. Mangal rose to national prominence during the tenure of Late Umaru Musa Yar’adua as Nigeria President. This year, his airline ferried the bulk of Nigerian pilgrims to the Holy land of Mecca for the annual Muslim pilgrimage.

ou expressed the wish to join a European club to be able to better prepare for the Afcon 2013. Unfortunately, FIFA did not grant your request. Is Drogba a disappointed man? I think it was a logical answer that did not shock me at all: because it was a special request. So there were no guarantees of a positive response. In my opinion FIFA’s response was logical. However, before you certain players benefitted from this special exemption from FIFA. I don’t think that FIFA have done this before. If I take the case of Thierry Henry, he was never authorised by FIFA outside of the FIFA period. If we were in the month of January, we would not have needed FIFA’s authorisation for my return to Europe. Now, how is Drogba planning to prepare for the Afcon? I believe there is no other way to prepare than to work. One has to put in enough work. I know my body and I must train seriously to keep in shape. For sure, nothing can replace official competitions. When I chose to go and play in China, I more or less expected this small disadvantage. But, at the same time I hope that it will be one of the reasons that will give me a fresher start at the Afcon.

I know that the national team has a basis. We have a team now. Before, we had more individuals who could make a difference. Today, we have a team, a state of mind that is extraordinary.


Mba backs NPL stars for AFCON


nugu Rangers new signing Sunday Mba has said he expects several players from the NPL to make the squad to the AFCON. No player from the Nigeria Premier League made the final squad to the 2008 and 2010 Nations Cups and it is widely believed that possibly only two players would make coach Stephen Keshi’s final list to next year’s tournament. However, Mba, who has scored two goals for the Eagles under Keshi, said he expects more players from the NPL to press for places to South Africa 2013. “If the coach didn’t have confidence in us, he would not call for a training camp for us. So I don’t buy that school of thought that we stand no chance. Its football and anything could happen,” the former Warri Wolves player said. “There is no doubt that our lack of action in the league would tell on our performance but again that is the reason why the coach wants to start the camping early.” The training camp for local league players will open in Abuja on December 17.

In Abidjan, where he was attending the dedication of the cartoon book “De Tito à Drogba” (From Tito to Drogba), a work which recounts the story of his life, Ivoirian international striker Didier Drogba discussed FIFA’s denial of his request to play for a European club, his Afcon 2013 preparation programme, the Elephants’ group and their goals for South Africa. Recently you met with the manager of Chelsea, Rafael Benitez. What did you discuss? I simply met Benitez to ask his permission to train with Chelsea. And his reply was positive. All I am going to do is start training with the Chelsea team. It will be a chance for me to be able to get back into competitive play after a few days’ rest. As I like to say, it is the next logical step in my preparation for the Afcon. When will your training with Chelsea begin? As soon as I return to England. Which means this Monday already. Will this training be sufficient to be ready for the Afcon? I have already said that nothing can replace official competition. But at least training will allow me to see if I will be competitive. Well, I believe that training with Chelsea will allow me to be competitive. Your current situation seems to preoccupy the national selector. Have you discussed the matter? Yes. We have already discussed this situation several times. There is a programme which has been put in place. It is a programme that I have to respect to allow me to remain competitive. With everything concerning you today, do you not regret your choice to go to China? No. I don’t have any regrets. I think that when I was at Chelsea, everybody asked why I had chosen England as a destination where there is no rest. Whatever choice you make, there are obviously good and bad sides. The good side about China is that today I have a lot of rest. On the other hand, this is rest that could prove fatal because there is inactivity. So, it is up to me to know how to manage that. Given the people around me who help me stay in form, I am not worried at all. Is a return to Europe still on the cards? I am still at Shanghai where I have signed for two and a half years. It’s still difficult for me to say what I am doing next year. I experienced this same situation when I was at Marseille, when I said what I was going to do the following year. And ten days later, I left. In football, you are not always in control of your destiny. What assurance I have today is the contract I have with Shanghai. Now, I don’t know what tomorrow will consist of. Drogba’s situation is a preoccupation for more than just one person, because of the Afcon in January 2013 in South Africa. What do you think of the group that the Elephants are in? It is a very difficult group. There is Algeria, Tunisia and Togo. All these teams have the chance to make it to the final of this competition. Because they are big calibre teams. Do you agree with those who think that it is the group of death? This is a competition where anything can happen. Even last year, we could have been eliminated in the first round as has already happened to our national team. Football is a sport that has a lot of uncertainties. I repeat, all the teams are worthy at this point in the competition and you have to respect everybody. We are going to fight with our weapons and hope to make it to the final. Football is full of surprises, but there are reassuring signs. Some of those? I know that the national team has a basis. We have a team now. Before, we had more individuals who could make a difference. Today, we have a team, a state of mind that is extraordinary. Should we believe that the time has come for the Drogba generation to finally win the Afcon? I think we have to stop saying that we are going to win the Cup. Because each time, we just miss it and then everybody is disappointed. That is exactly what happened in Senegal where the Senegalese said they were going to beat us and in the end we saw what happened. For me, as captain, what I can say is that we are going to arrive at the Afcon and give everything. And don’t be mistaken, we also want to win the Afcon. As players, we want to win it for the whole of Côte d’Ivoire. Nobody will be more disappointed than us if things don’t go as planned.







PICTORIAL 1. Mark Lomas previews the 2012 Club World Cup in Japan, with European champions Chelsea and Copa Libertadores winners Corinthians favourites for the global crown. 2. London’s Olympic Park will host the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters, which features the world's top players, from 2014-2016. 3. Tyson Fury moves one step closer to a world title shot after overcoming American Kevin Johnson on points in Belfast. 4. David Beckham is in talks over a deal that could see him become the owner of an emerging Major League Soccer club.


5. Rory McIlroy is voted the PGA Tour Player of the Year after winning four US Tour events and the World Championship in Dubai in 2012.



Coaches want festival female footballers in national team Bayelsa

F NTTF bans another player for violating festival rule


he Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) has again banned another tennis for the second consecutive times at the festival. Yesterday, the federation banned Bisola Asaju of Team Kwara from the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival (NSF) in Lagos and subsequent Games for cheating. Ranti Lajide, an International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) certified umpire, confirmed that Asaju was ineligible to participate in the Games because she had featured in three past editions. Lajide, who is officiating in the table tennis event, said the NTTF had vowed to disqualify any player found violating the rules of the NSF. “The player was trying to be faster than her shadow, but the NTTF is very particular about such persons and once we identify them, he or she is a u t o m a t i c a l l y disqualified,’’ he said. Lajide said that such a tough step would discourage others from getting involved in such, because the festival was designed for talent discovery. “We cannot allow athletes who have had their times at previous Games to deny upcoming talents from showing their skills, so we have to put a stop to it,’’ he added. Further, ACP Anderson Bankole, expressed satisfaction with the performances of players at the festival and described them as the hope of tomorrow. Bankole, an NTTF board member, said that “I am highly impressed with the brilliant performances of the athletes and we are actually identifying talents as the competition progresses.’’

emale football coaches have appealed to their colleagues to give female players with the potentials opportunity to play for the national teams. The coaches, who spoke in separate interviews, urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to select and nurture those with good qualities as international players. Lasisi Salihu, coach of Taraba, said that some of the players were gifted and should be invited to the national team to replace the aged ones. I am highly impressed with some of the girls and their mode of playing football,” Salihu said. Emmanuel Orkaah, Benue team coach, said that many of the players were young and skillful, with bright futures if given the needed attention. “Many of the states are parading young players, unlike before, where you see

old players. I am highly impressed with this development. There should be follow-up programmes after the festival so that some of the players can be absorbed into our national team,’’ he added. His Kaduna state counterpart, Khalila Ismaila, said players discovered should be given the opportunity to

represent the country in future competitions. Okey Nnamani, coach of the Enugu team, also urged the NFF to stop recircling players by taking advantage of the festival to pencil down players discovered with a view to groom, to build a strong future national team. “All we do is to recycle

CMD lauds medicare at festival


hief Medical Doctor for the ongoing 18th National Sport Festival (NSF) said yesterday that the medical team has not been overwhelmed by the number of casualties treated in the course of the festival. “We were well prepared to handle the emergencies,’’ Dr Akin George said adding that the team anticipated well and has been coping with the number of casualties referred to it.

“You can see what we have on ground. We have not been overwhelmed by whatever number of casualties that we have. “We were adequately prepared and we anticipated; that is the first thing that you do when you are having an emergency practice like this. With all that, we are able to cope with most of the emergencies that we have. “The very serious ones were treated; some were taken to tertiary institutions. But so far,

Niger Commissioner decries poor officiating


bdullahi Hassan, the Niger Commissioner for Sports, has urged sports administrators to strive toward the genuine development of the country’s grassroots sports to nurture the next generation of athletes. The commissioner said it was necessary to make the call because some states were desperate to win medals and have resorted to extra means to achieve their ambitions. “I remember that the

old players, instead of identifying and grooming young talents. Most of these girls are young and should be groomed for future tournaments,” he added. Similarly, Atta Bello Udia, coach of Akwa Ibom, urged the NFF to immediately get to work on players discovered at the Games.

governor of Lagos state said that officiating will be fair but with what we have seen so far, the reverse is the case. There are so many complaints. “We should not see sports as a do or die affair. If you don’t win today, what you should do is to strive to win tomorrow. “That was what killed us in 2012 Olympics, some athletes are aided to win tournament by the time they get to the world stage where

everything is computerised they fail. We should see sports as a developmental thing,” Hassan said. Hassan also called on the National Sports Commission (NSC) to find a lasting solution to the poaching of athletes by well endowed states, which he said, was detrimental to the growth of sports. “We need to start getting our acts together because so many things are killing sports in the country.’’

all the cases were adequately treated. “You can see that we have various cadres of medical personnel. We have the doctors, we have long list of nurses, physiotherapists, paramedics, support staff of all kinds, volunteers. “So everywhere you go, you can identify them easily by their uniforms, no matter the events; you must always find a medical bench. So we are well prepared, in terms of facilities, I think, we have gone beyond our own expectation as well.’’ George also said that the accurate statistics of casualties would be released after the Games. “We have people going round to collect statistics that we are going to use, data , and don’t forget, all the athletes in Lagos State have been screened, conducted medical test, which we have now and will put into a data base for future


Lagos eyes gold in football


eam Lagos women’s football coach, Ann Agumanu-Chiejine said her charges are on solid footing towards winning gold at the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival. This followed her side’s superb passage to the last four of the biennial multiple sports fiesta. Team Lagos shared points with Team Edo in the quarterfinals encounter on Tuesday at the Agege Stadium in Lagos. The split points saw Team Lagos top Group A on 10 points while Edo side finished on eight points to qualify as runners-up. Team Lagos will clash with the winners of the tie

between Team Osun and Taraba both tied on six points in Thursday’s first semifinals and handler, Agumanu-Chiejine said her wards fear no foes. The Group B encounter saw Team Enugu through to the semifinals on nine points from three matches while the result of their last game against Osun will not affect its qualification. Enugu are drawn to face Group A runners-up, Edo in the semifinals. The second group ticket will be hotly contested by Team Taraba and Osun both on six points from three matches.


hief Isaac Mark-Scent, Director of Sports, Bayelsa Sports Council, boasted yesterday that the state has a stranglehold on wrestling as evident by their five gold medals at the ongoing festival. Mark-Scent said at the medal-awards ceremony at the University of Lagos Sports Complex that the Izons were traditionally a wrestling nation adding that it would be difficult to halt their dominance. “Actually wresting is our traditional sport and virtually everybody in Bayelsa is a wrestler. We already knew it was going to turn out this way. “The Izons are very good wrestlers and you can see that our major challengers are our brothers from Delta and Rivers, but we are still dominating,” he said. The director added that the current medal haul of the state in wrestling was a testimony of the state’s well-ordered programme on making wrestling its major sport. “Already, we have won five gold medals in the event, including silver and bronze medals and we are still counting because the event is still on,” Mark-Scent added.

Medal Table released by the MOC last night


L-R: James Ewruje of team Lagos, with Nnamani Chris of team Abuja, in the male intermediate category of scrabble group in the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival in Photo: NAN Lagos.

Director boasts as team wins 5 gold medals in wrestling


MEDALS WON Gold Silver





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A boat of whale watchers look the wrong way as a humpback dramatically breaches off the coast of Ireland, the moment was captured by crew aboard a nearby lifeboat. Source:

. . . putting the people first


QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE We are not resting on the issue of the attack on SARS headquarters. We're still investigation...But I can tell you, heads will roll in SARS. –– IGP Mohammed Abubakar

SPORTS Questions for Abubakar, LA TEST LATEST

Dasuki, Azazi and Ringim (II)

AWC: Ban ‘ dly international duel which ended in draw. Before then, the Falcons had held the bragging rights as the Banyana Banyana had never beaten nor forced them to draw. All that changed yesterday. The South Africans were more composed and defended stoutly against the on surge of the Falcons, who though were bereft of ideas for most of the match. The decisive moment of the game came on 24 minutes when Van Wyk picked up the loose ball and fired in a shot that looped over the Nigerian goalkeeper from distance. The victory meant that coach Kadiri Ikhana has failed to meet one of his contractual conditions, which was to retain the AWC. He also has to reach the last four of the FIFA Women World Cup, a trophy he boasted he would win for Nigeria. South Africa will meet hosts Equatorial Guinea in the final on Saturday, a repeat of the 2008 tournament decider that was


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o part of this country can be a safe haven for armed bandits’. These are the words of President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya. He said this on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 after chairing a meeting with all his heads of security. Kenya is mourning the death of over 32 police officers murdered by armed robbers cum cattle thieves roaming the country’s Samburu region. The attackers armed with rocket propelled grenades and machine guns took the policemen and a whole country by surprise. You may have seen footage of some of the 9 policemen who survived the massacre, lying in their hospital beds. Quest 1: Is anyone in charge here? The contrast with our beloved, benighted Cartelopia is painful. When was the last time Prime Minister Jonah Badfortune called for an emergency meeting with his heads of security? Can you remember? I can’t. Is he under some kind of trance? After one particular outrage – the assassination of an elderly, highly respected veteran General as he sat in his own courtyard – the PM is yet to utter a single public word or whisper of condolence to the General’s family or us, the people the deceased served with such distinction. No. Second hand messages do not count. Jonah Badfortune’s army of liars and propagandists are a little more muted this week as the country reels from two (or is it three or four or five) suspiciously audacious attacks – that look more like inside jobs than anything else. A few die-hards persist: the terrorist gangs roaming the North on behalf of Northern politicians must stop, they shout! They have infiltrated the army, the secret and ‘open’ police, they scream. But isn’t that what Jonah himself told us a lifetime ago? This ‘tory-tory’ is getting…old. It is brainless hogwash meant to absolve the PM of any responsibility for his actions and towering INACTION. It is time he either acts – according to law - or he should resign. Action includes pursuing all avenues and options for negotiating and disarming the mindless foot soldiers currently being programmed to carry out the next killing of old people, women, children and the unarmed. As noted before: even Mrs Bad,

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CAR TEL OPIA CARTEL TELOPIA By Aisha Yolah 08086296783 (text only please)

NSA, Sambo Dasuki sorry Goodfortune, would have made a far more capable leader. He can hand over to her – just to keep it in the family. In Cartelopia anything is possible. So I ask two more questions of our august security chiefs: Ques 2: Is ours a lawless, totalitarian state? The tradition has been for police or army spokespersons right from the days of the Delta operations to act as propaganda chiefs for those in power (security chiefs, corporate executives, governors, presidents) rather than provide accurate, meaningful information in public interest. With the exception of the now silent Marylyn, of the secret police (!) one has never really had

much confidence that any spokesperson is really trying to cultivate our confidence and trust. True to type only the more disciplined army- offended at the notion that they could even be accused of murdering ‘one of their own’ (the old General), bothered to address a recent press conference on accusations of extrajudicial killing. But the loud silence from State House and Police HQ on current allegations of unlawful action by security officers, is not my only problem. One wonders what the brigade of notable ministers, legislators, heads of parastatals, and powerful people from the provinces of Borno, or Yobe or even Kano are thinking, after atrocity after atrocity. Are they too scared to talk for fear of being ‘convicted’ on false charges of ‘terrorism’? Ndumed. Or too concerned with own comforts. Or as another Senator outlined recently: too afraid of ‘being targeted for not partially sponsoring terrorism’. The mind boggles at the kind of talk emanating from those currently in positions of power, socalled leaders. Perhaps we are all in a trance, then. Ques 3: When will the rank and file stop dying nameless deaths? Recall the hundreds of security officers and men cold bloodedly murdered by the so-called insurgents/armed-robbers/ terrorists; how many do we know

One wonders what the brigade of notable ministers, legislators, heads of parastatals, and powerful people from the provinces of Borno, or Yobe or even Kano are thinking, after atrocity after atrocity. Are they too scared to talk for fear of being ‘convicted’ on false charges of ‘terrorism’? Ndumed. Or too concerned with own comforts

of; how many injured have we been allowed to see on their hospital beds? I suppose that is classified information. It must be dreadful to be a policeman or soldier serving as cannon-fodder under people who will lie even about what they said yesterday regarding the existence or lack of, a terrorism law, whether terrorists are known or unknown, who did what and where…At least the head of the secret police has told us there is money in it for the criminals. On both sides obviously. It must be even more awful to serve alongside people who routinely kill out of panic or anger; ‘men’ who feel no shame in unlawfully locking up poor people or murdering them or burning their homes – for the fun of it just to make it look like someone is ‘working’. This whole show – like the very theatrical parades of suspects and arms we have long mistaken for ‘investigation’ – is no longer excusable. It is killing us. ‘Questions’ begun on November 1st, continued on November 8th, are concluded (for now). Abubakar Buba: Corrigendum and follow-up On November 1st Cartelopia ended with an addendum on the treatment given to 25 year-old Abubakar Buba, the victim of organ thieves masquerading as doctors in a Bauchi hospital. We erroneously referred to the Bauchi state governor as Bashir Yuguda, (apologies to the minister of state for works). We meant Governor Isa Yuguda. Subsequent news reports quoted the Chief Medical Director of Bauchi’s Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Dr. Mohammed Alkali, explaining that final arrangements were being made to fly Buba to India for a transplant but that the process required lengthy technicalities. The reports said nothing about the allegation that the $22,000=00 donated by the state government is actually not quite enough to cover the whole cost of a transplant abroad. Nor was there any explanation on why both Buba and his father were apparently unaware of all the state government’s ongoing efforts to fully cater for his complete treatment. And what action has been taken against those Robbers of human kidney?

Published by Peoples Media Limited, 35, Ajose Adeogun Street, 1st Floor Peace Park Plaza, Utako, Abuja. Kano office: Plot 3, Zaria Road, Opposite Kano State House of Assembly. Lagos Office: No.8 Oliyide Street, off Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos. Tel: +234-09-8734478. Cell: +234 803 606 3308. e-mail:; ISSN: 2141– 6141

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